The next generation of Apple silicon is right around the corner, and the upcoming M3 processor is supposedly going into multiple new Macs before the end of 2023.
Here is what we know about the iMac and the two MacBooks we have to look forward to this autumn.
Fall 2023 Macs are all about Apple M3 chip
The 15-inch MacBook Air that launched in June is possibly the end of the line on 2022’s M2 processor family. The Macs expected in the coming months will use the M3 family of chips.
The M1 and M2 family of chips were made with a 5nm process, but M3 manufacture will use a 3nm process. Shrinking the components allows them to work faster while generating less waste heat.
Apple and chip-maker TSMC had hoped to use the 3nm process for the M2, but problems delayed the introduction. The bugs have been worked out and Apple is reportedly buying the Taiwanese foundry’s complete output of 3nm chips.
Add in other improvements to the design of the processor and expect the M3 family to offer significant improvements in performance while using less power — much greater than the rather modest boost that came in the M1-to-M2 transition.
The first out of the gate will be the basic M3, and that’s the chip expected to go into all the new fall 2023 Macs. Currently, enhanced M3 Pro, M3 Max and perhaps an M3 Ultra variants aren‘t expected before 2024.
2023 iMac with M3, at last
It’s been a very long time since the launch of the 24-inch iMac. It debuted in spring 2021 with a dramatic redesign and speedy performance, but has not been updated since.
Most notably, Apple didn’t introduce a version with an M2 processor – it still runs an M1. But leaks point to an M3 iMac on Apple’s fall agenda.
However, don’t expect another redesign. The 2023 model will stick with a the 24-inch display and the same color options. A rumored 32-inch version is at least a year away.
Speed-enhanced MacBook Air on the way
The 13-inch MacBook Air got its own redesign in summer 2022 to become beautifully sleek and lightweight. It was one of the first with an Apple M2, and now a new version with the M3 is reportedly on the way.
Like the iMac, a fresh redesign apparently isn’t in the cards. Instead, Apple will slip a better, faster processor into the autumn 2023 edition and leave it at that.
However, when the 15-inch MacBook Air will get the M3 processor is anyone’s guess. As noted, this larger iteration has only been on the market for about a month.
13-inch MacBook Pro with M3? Seriously?
When Apple launched the redesigned MacBook Air in 2022, the company befuddled many by also putting the new M2 chip into a 13-inch MacBook Pro using a relatively clunky design from 2020.
In his most recent Power On newsletter, Boomberg’s Mark Gurman said this model will be further updated with the M3 in the fall.
Expect no other changes. That means the macOS notebook it’ll still have the controversial Touch Bar in place of physical function keys.
Looking even further ahead
Apple fans could once count on fresh new MacBook Pro models every fall. That’s apparently mostly a thing of the past, aside from the odd holdover from 2020 that is the 13-inch version.
14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros updated with the M2 Pro and M2 Max launched in January 2022, and versions with M3 family processors aren’t expected before 2024.
The M3 family is likely to eventually make its way to the entire Mac line. That means it’ll hit the Mac mini, Mac Studio and Mac Pro at some point… but definitely not fall 2023.
But keep your eyes open for the three M3-powered Macs that are expected to launch sometime around October: 24-inch iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.