A pair of mysterious and unreleased Macs have been spotted in Steam’s usage data for November 2022. Labelled as “Mac14,6” and “Mac15,4,” the devices are probably machines with M2 Pro and/or M2 Max processors set for launch in 2023.
You can see the data by visiting Steam’s survey page and clicking the line entry labelled “OSX Hardware Model Summary.” The two models are near the bottom of the list, each assigned 0.00% of users. Note that this indicates a very low number rather than none at all, since the figures are rounded to two decimal places; indeed, this makes perfect sense for a few engineers running tests on prototypes of an unreleased machine.
It might seem strangely careless for Apple employees to test unreleased products on a public platform, given the company’s fondness for secrecy. But it appears to be unavoidable at certain points in development, and the existence of several Apple devices has first been revealed in this way.
In fact, as MacRumors notes, the specific designator “Mac14,6” has been spotted in the wild before now. On two separate occasions in November and December 2022 Geekbench scores for the device–believed to be carrying an M2 Max chip–have appeared online. My colleague Jason Cross discusses the implications of those leaks in his Rumor Reality Check column.
It’s unclear when these new Macs will be announced and become available to buy. There’s minimal chance of further announcements before the end of 2022, and January and February are generally quiet months for Apple. Ordinarily we’d expect any new products in the pipeline to be held back until the spring–but the company has sprung surprises in the past and may shock us again.