M3 MacBooks are unlikely to launch before 2024


2023 MacBook Pro in 14- and 16-inch versions
Don't expect M3 MacBooks from Apple this year.
Photo: Apple

Apple reportedly will see a significant decline in MacBook shipments in the remaining half of 2023. This is primarily due to the lack of new models, with MacBooks powered by an Apple M3 chip not launching until 2024.

The M3 chip could debut inside the iMac as early as this year before expanding to other Macs.

M3 MacBooks will boost Apple’s shipments in 2024

DigiTimes analyst estimates that the notebook industry will see a 4.7% growth in shipments in 2024, led by easing inflation and the introduction of new models. Apple’s shipments also will see a boost next year with the launch of M3 MacBooks based on TSMC’s 3nm node.

The M3 chip should bring a notable uplift in performance and efficiency due to the use of a more efficient process node and other architectural improvements. The iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Pro chip is fabricated on the same node.

Today’s DigiTimes report corroborates last month’s predictions by TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He also thinks Apple will not launch new M3-powered MacBooks this year. (The company reportedly does have multiple M3 Macs in development, including a Mac mini.)

As previously reported, the entry-level M3 chip will pack eight CPU cores and a 10-core GPU, the same as the current-gen M2 SoC. As for the M3 Pro and M3 Max, Apple plans to boost the number of CPU and GPU cores. The M3 Pro could feature a 12-core CPU and an 18-core GPU, while the M3 Max might ship with 16 CPU cores and a GPU with 40 cores or more.

Will an M3 iMac launch this year?

Apple typically refreshes the SoC for its Macs every 18 months. The M1 chip debuted in October 2020. Eighteen months later, in June 2022, the M2 chip launched with the 13-inch MacBook Air and Pro. Going by the company’s typical timeframe, a late-October or November launch for an M3-powered Mac seems plausible.

In Apple’s entire Mac lineup, the 24-inch iMac is the only machine that has not been refreshed with the M2 chip. This makes it the most likely contender for an upgrade this year.


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