M3 MacBook Air & MacBook Pro may not debut until October

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2023

The focus is tightening on Apple's September iPhone 15 event, with new M3 Macs expected to debut with perhaps less fanfare in October instead.

The 2022 MacBook Air
The 2022 MacBook Air



The summer is always replete with rumors about Apple's September event. At one point in the rumor cycle every year, the single event is generally rumored to update nearly every Apple product. The full scope of the event only gets made more clear with time, generally very close to the event.

In his Sunday newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman sheds some light on what he expects to see in September, and what will launch in October perhaps as only a press release.

"The structure of the event, I'm told, will match the iPhone 14 launch: A prerecorded video will be shown online, as well as at an event at the company's headquarters," Gurman writes. "There's also another launch occurring in October -- likely for the first M3 Macs -- but it's unclear if that will be positioned as a formal event."

A press release debut of new M3 Macs isn't unprecedented. The M2 MacBook Pro, and the M2 Mac mini models didn't have an event. And, historically, most Intel MacBook Pro and iMac spec bumps after a new chassis debuted hit the street after a press release.

Over the last ten years, Apple had October events in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2021. Full events in October didn't happen in 2015, 2017, 2019, nor in 2022.

The shift over from the M2 generation to the start of the M3 is expected to start in the Fall at some point. As usual for Apple, the M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra launches will be further down the road.

Apple tends to make the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 13-inch MacBook Air, and the Mac mini the first models to ship in a chip generation, and they are still good candidates this time around. The M2 Mac mini was released in January 2023, so that may still wait a bit if Apple maintains a regular cadence.

The 24-inch iMac is also awaiting an upgrade, missing out on the M2 generation, though there's less of a chance of an M3 15-inch MacBook Air since the M2 hasn't been around that long.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    But I want it now!
    8thman
  • Reply 2 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,839member
    I don't see why they'd release a MacBook Air this year anyways. They just released a new one not too long ago. If they release an M3 MBA in the fall they should have just waited to release the 15" MBA with M3 instead of M2. That makes no sense to me. Seems like a forced release in the end. 
    williamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 18
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,093member
    M3, based on the rumors, is a generational leap in power and efficiency.   It could go down as a defining moment for Apple processors.  I find it hard to believe they would announce it via a press release 

    I find it hard to believe they will launch M3 notebooks in the Fall.   Especially the Air.   It is too soon after the M2 launch.   I’m betting Spring 
    williamlondonseanjAlex1Nd_2Ofer
  • Reply 4 of 18
    javairjavair Posts: 18member
    Is this article suggesting Apple would release a 13” M3 MacBook Air, but leave the 15” MacBook Air at M2?
    If so, I don’t get why Apple would do that.
    They’re the same computer, just a bigger screen in one of ‘em.
    And, most people ready to purchase the 15” Air would wait if they saw the M3 was in the 13”; they’d know the M3 is just around the corner for the 15”.

    Silly.
    edited August 2023 Alex1Nd_2Ofer
  • Reply 5 of 18
    With Mac sales sagging Apple could gain by getting M3 in the wild ASAP.
    williamlondonseanjAlex1Ndanoxd_2
  • Reply 6 of 18
    My credit card is ready to purchase an M3 iMac the second it’s released………
    Alex1Ntmay
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,019member
    I just don’t see it. The M2 MacBook Pros just came out in January and they were a very serious upgrade from the previous generation. I just bought an M2 Max 16 inch. I think Apple is going to wait until at least January and more likely the spring before going M3.  I could see the iMac getting one probably the max studio. I just don’t think the MacBook pros are going there yet.  Then again, I didn’t think when I bought a G5 iMac (2006) that they would come out with an Intel one 2 months later 🙃
    Alex1N
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Alex1NAlex1N Posts: 137member
    Being a rather pessimistic sort, my feeling is that they’ll bring out an iMac next year, and if they do, with an M2 chip. Unless their JiT inventory is closer to the nail than that. I’ve more or less given up on Apple’s iMac path: they look at the moment as though they’re going to let it wither and die. I’d love to be proved wrong though - 27”+, M3 with lots of RAM. But I’m not holding my breath.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Rogue01Rogue01 Posts: 161member
    Haven't any of you been paying attention the last 3 years?  Apple's roadmap is a mess.  Apple will release the M3 and stick it in a Mac mini or an iPad (that makes no sense since iPadOS is crippled), and nothing else.  Apple will continue to sell Macs with outdated processors.  Look at the 2 year old iMac with M1!  Then Apple will skate along for months and then finally get around to migrating the M3 into other Macs, almost a year later, and sell Macs with 1 year old CPUs.  MacBook Air 15" with a 1 year old M2 CPU.  

    Some people think the M2 is brand-new.  It came out in June 2022 with the MacBook Pro 13.  One year later, Apple produces the 15" MacBook Air with the 1 year old M2 CPU and suddenly people think the M2 is brand-new.  The Pro and Max versions took forever.  Same with the Ultra.  That is why no one wants to buy a Mac and Mac sales are down.  No one wants to buy a Mac with a 1 year old CPU in it, wondering if they are ever going to get around to updating the line of Macs.
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Rogue01Rogue01 Posts: 161member
    sdw2001 said:
    I just don’t see it. The M2 MacBook Pros just came out in January and they were a very serious upgrade from the previous generation. I just bought an M2 Max 16 inch. I think Apple is going to wait until at least January and more likely the spring before going M3.  I could see the iMac getting one probably the max studio. I just don’t think the MacBook pros are going there yet.  Then again, I didn’t think when I bought a G5 iMac (2006) that they would come out with an Intel one 2 months later 🙃
    You are comparing the Pro and Max versions with the base model M2.  The M2 did not come out in January 2023.  It came out in June 2022.  The Pro and Max versions, not the same chip as the M2, came out in January 2023.  The M2 is over a year old and overdue for replacement to the M3.  Who knows when Apple will get around to releasing an M3 Pro and M3 Max.

    How did you not know that Apple would be releasing an Intel Mac when you bought your iMac G5 in late 2005?  In June 2005 at WWDC, Apple said they would be switching to Intel in 2006.
    Oferwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,977member
    MisterKit said:
    With Mac sales sagging Apple could gain by getting M3 in the wild ASAP.
    New Mac’s in different form factors before the start of the new school year, would always help Mac computer sales (if released in time), and a new upgraded M2 24 inch iMac, a larger screen M1/M2 27 inch iMac, would definitely help the sagging iMac sales which probably have fallen off a cliff. (largely self induced by Apple you can’t sell what you don’t make).
  • Reply 12 of 18
    I think Apple has gotten itself into marketing trouble. Those marketing handlers who appear with the Apple engineers when they do interviews should be spending less time worrying about what John Ternus or Anand Shimpi might say and more time developing effective marketing that accurately reflects what those engineers are doing.

    The root problem is that M1 and M2 could easily be called A14X and A15X, but they are marketed as being something more than what they are (I'm not suggesting that what they are is problematic in any way, just they they are being marketed as something they are not). It’s an inaccurate portrayal of what Apple is doing. It matters because it disguises the actual transformation from A-series to M-series, which is the jump from the A/M to the M Pro/Max/Ultra.

    This problem leads to confusion. The M3 will launch in October as the start of the next generation of Macs, and of course it is, but it’s also not. That transformation won’t actually happen until the M3 Pro/Max is launched. 
    edited August 2023 williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,917member
    For now, M2 Macbook Air is serving me well so I can wait few more months for M3 MBA upgrade.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    Damn, I just bought a 14" M2 MBP!
  • Reply 15 of 18
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,577member
    mayfly said:
    Damn, I just bought a 14" M2 MBP!
    This concerns the M3 processors, not the M3 Pro/Max used in the 14”/16” books. 
    mayfly
  • Reply 16 of 18
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 887member
    MisterKit said:
    With Mac sales sagging Apple could gain by getting M3 in the wild ASAP.
    Overall PC sales are down, including Macs, but Apple is actually doing better--i.e., Mac sales have held up better--than other companies. This year saw a big transition to variants of the M2, so it's not at all likely that a strictly base version of the M3, even if it does appear in Oct, will do much if anything to boost sales. It may help iMac sales somewhat, since it currently remains an M1 machine, but that's not going to boost the overall Mac sales picture that much. 
  • Reply 17 of 18
    nubusnubus Posts: 417member
    macxpress said:
    I don't see why they'd release a MacBook Air this year anyways. They just released a new one not too long ago. If they release an M3 MBA in the fall they should have just waited to release the 15" MBA with M3 instead of M2. That makes no sense to me. Seems like a forced release in the end. 
    Apple would have missed all Back to School sales if the MBA 15 (and MBA 13 price reduction) were introduced in October. It was a smart move.
    williamlondonkdupuis77
  • Reply 18 of 18
    thttht Posts: 5,499member
    red oak said:
    M3, based on the rumors, is a generational leap in power and efficiency.   It could go down as a defining moment for Apple processors.  I find it hard to believe they would announce it via a press release 

    I find it hard to believe they will launch M3 notebooks in the Fall.   Especially the Air.   It is too soon after the M2 launch.   I’m betting Spring 
    Probably should recalibrate what "generational leap" means. Apple has been very good at maintaining a nice linear 20% performance per core per generation per year from 2012 to 2020 time frame. TSMC 5nm stretched out to 3 years versus the 2 years for TSMC 14nm to 7nm, so the pace has slowed down on that 20% for the last two generations, and getting +20% over the M2 at the same Watts is going to be difficult. The key is "same Watts", which is about 5 W per performance core and I assume they want to maintain that for Vision and mobile products et al.

    TSMC 3nm generation processes are going to go for 3 to 4 years before moving to TSMC 2nm. So, at least 3 generations of TSMC 3nm with Apple using 2 of them. M3 SoCs in the Fall to Spring 2024 time frame, then M4 in Fall of 2025 at the earliest. M5 on the last TSMC 3nm generation on Spring of 2027. Apple might get a +20% improvement per core from M3 to M5. Hard to believe they can do 20% for each named M3->M4 and M4->M5 generation. So, 10% to 15% per named generation now.

    I hope they add more CPU cores: 12+4 perf+eff for the Max at least, add hardware raytracing to the GPUs, and double RAM capacity. 32 GB for the M3 and 128 GB for the M3 Max, at least, but a doubling would be really really nice. Maximum 14 GB/s NAND storage, maybe? It may run too hot for marginal performance gains, so, 7 GB/s should be fine.
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