At the weekend Lynne and Jens are at... Sir Applerot Podcast Among other things, we talked about the fact that Apple's computer operating system “macOS” is increasingly tailored to Apple Silicon. That's quite logical, because there is now the third generation of this system on chip (SoC) with the M3, the M3 Pro and the M3 Max. In addition, since then Mac Pro from the middle of this year The entire Mac range is equipped with M chips. You can ask yourself the question: When will macOS only be compatible with Apple Silicon? In order to formulate an educated guess, let's take a look at the developments so far.
Chapter in this post:
Which Mac models is macOS 14 Sonoma actually compatible with?
Already in September macOS 14 Sonoma published, the new ones iMac- and MacBook Pro models were then added at the end of October. At the appropriate “Scary Fast” event The comparison to the Intel predecessors was made several times. Apple wants to slowly but surely push users of “old devices” to switch to newer Macs. But before that is completely necessary, there are still a few Intel Macs that can be used. For the current macOS Sonoma is die List as follows:
- Apple Mac mini from 2018 or newer
- Apple Mac Pro from 2019 or newer
- Apple iMac from 2019 or newer
- Apple iMac Pro from 2017 or newer
- Apple MacBook Air from 2018 or newer
- Apple MacBook Pro from 2018 or newer
- Apple Mac Studio from 2022 or newer
With the exception of the Mac Studio, which was never available as an Intel model, a few Intel Macs can still be used with the current macOS in all areas. But these are all just before the limit of the chip transition, which began in 2020. Due to its age, it is entirely possible that the 2017 iMac Pro, the only model of this Mac to date, will not be on the macOS 15 compatibility list next year.
Compared to macOS 13 Ventura from 2022, the MacBook (without “Air” or “Pro”) has already been eliminated from macOS 14 Sonoma from 2023. What about the other Macs on the list? To do this, let's take a look at the lists from Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur and Catalina at. In this way, the previous model jumps can be recognized and a forecast can be created for the coming years.
The Countdown: Macs Compatible with Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur and Catalina
To derive a trend, we can look at how many models or years there are between the individual compatible Mac types of the previous operating systems. This way you can roughly determine which Macs could still be compatible with macOS 15 and which will no longer be supported in 2024. You can view the following table as a kind of countdown for the Apple Silicon-exclusive operating systems.
|Big Sur (2020)
The big sorting out will probably take place with macOS 16 in 2025
I see the iMac Pro from 2017 as a strong candidate for macOS 15 in 2024. Especially since Apple could then release a 32-inch iMac or, after seven years, a second iMac Pro model. This could then finally replace the old model. But other Mac variations with an Intel chip could also be removed from the list as early as 2024. As can be seen in the table, jumps of four years have already been made from Monterey to Ventura.
From Ventura to Sonoma it doesn't look quite as bad, but the jump from the iMac (2019) to the iMac (2020) wouldn't be that big with macOS 15. Apple could then do without a five-year-old iMac with an Intel chip and equip a four-year-old one with an M1 with further upgrades (even if the M1 no longer has all the features of new operating systems). Otherwise, I think Intel Macs from 2018 or 2019 will get a grace period next year.
After all, Apple certainly wants to continue to be seen as the company that upgrades its devices for five to six years. But that means that in 2025 perhaps only laptops from 2020 will be on the list - i.e. those with M1 or newer. The Mac Pro from 2019 will also certainly be dropped by 2025 at the latest. I could imagine that the second or third Mac Pro with an M chip would have been introduced by then. Or in short: The chances are good that from 2025 only Apple Silicon Macs will get the upgrade to macOS 16 and no more Intel Macs.
Are you already using an M-chip?
In the blog comments and forum posts I keep reading about different Mac models from different years. While some have bought the latest model, others have perfected their workflow on the same Mac for a decade. Which group do you belong to? Do you use a Mac with Apple Silicon? Or do you have an Intel model that just barely gets upgrades to the new systems? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know when you would buy a new device. Are Apple's comparisons between Intel chips and M3 already effective or are you waiting for the compatibility lists of the upcoming systems?
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.