M3 MacBook Air update due in March, M3 Mac Pro in late 2024

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 24

Apple's next batch of M3 Mac launches may occur in March with New MacBook Air models, but there could be a long wait until M3-equipped versions of the Mac Studio and Mac Pro surface.

MacBook Air
MacBook Air



Apple introduced the M3 versions of the 24-inch iMac, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro in late October, starting the M3 generation strong with the debut of three chip variants. Now, attention turns to the rest of the range, and when it will all move over to the current chip generation.

In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman believes the next launches will include new MacBook Air models. Codenamed J613 and J615, the updated versions will not have much in the way of changes, except for it being a spec-bump update.

Expected around March, the launches of 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M3 will be marketed towards owners of M1 and Intel Macs rather than M2 owners. With the 15-inch MacBook Air M2 out since June, that may be too quick an upgrade cycle for those customers.

The M3 Air could also give Apple an opportunity to phase out the M1 MacBook Air from its catalog, and instead make the M2 version the new low-end model.

The last area of the Mac ecosystem to see an update will be the high-end models, specifically the Mac Studio and Mac Pro. However they "probably won't get upgraded to the end of 2024 at the earliest, if not 2025," writes Gurman.

Rumor Score: Possible

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,899member
    For M3 Macbook Air, hope it comes equipped with future proof WiFi 7. If not then no big deal. Still will be good upgrade.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Of course. Apple has to do this upgrade but... as we're seeing with the M3 iMacs, the new base M3 chip alone still doesn't offer an especially compelling upgrade even over the M1 chip, to say nothing of the M2 chips currently in the Airs. And since this is the first gen of the new MBA design, that's certainly not changing. Bluetooth in the current Airs is already the latest 5.3 standard. So about the only change I foresee, other than M3, is a spec bump to WiFi 6e vs the current 6. 7 would be nice, but Apple is never a leader when it comes to adopting new wifi protocols. The best part of this upgrade may be the reduced prices on M2 Airs to clear out the inventory--a nearly equal laptop for a whole lot less money. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 11
    keithwkeithw Posts: 139member
    It's disappointing if Apple doesn't release the M3 Mini and Studio by June.  They could release the standard, Pro, and Max versions right now, but they're probably waiting until they can build up an inventory of Ultra chips so they can release all of the models at the same time
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,215member
    charlesn said:
    Of course. Apple has to do this upgrade but... as we're seeing with the M3 iMacs, the new base M3 chip alone still doesn't offer an especially compelling upgrade even over the M1 chip, to say nothing of the M2 chips currently in the Airs. 
    In point of fact, the M3 is a double-digit increase over the M1. You’re correct that it’s not a compelling upgrade if you recently bought an M2, but who does that other than the ultra-rich or reviewers?

    As mentioned in the actual article, the M2 and M3 are aimed at the HUGE percentage of Mac owners who haven’t upgraded since the late Intel era, and didn’t want to jump on a“first gen” chip, and I include myself in that number. Macs tend to operate well for quite a number of years with normal use — I routinely see clients that have Macs that are 6+ years old and still perfectly happy with them for their general-use needs.

    My Core i9 MBP still does everything I want it to do quickly, but of course since I’m not a general-purpose user I expect to be upgrading in the near future. Ironically, I am tempted to “downgrade” from the MBP to the M2 or M3 Air, since I believe it will handle everything I’m currently doing without too much stress.

    If they hadn’t come up with that 14-inch Space Black MBP … damn you Apple! :smiley: 
    edited December 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,678member
    I think the Apple Vision Pro will introduced and released right after WWDC 2024 and the high end Apple devices will come after WWDC. But the MacBooks/Mini/iPad Pro's will come first sometime in the early part of next year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    It’s weird to see stupid people complaining that the M3 isn’t a good reason to ditch a 2 year old iMac.

    Seriously, what is wrong with people? You wanna upgrade your Mac more often than you upgrade your iPhone?

    the M3 iMac is a fantastic upgrade for lots of people with 2015 and 2017 iMacs and older models heck it’s a great upgrade for 2019 iMac owners if they really want to. But it’s unlikely that people will want to abandon their M1 iMacs until the M5 comes along. Even then , I suspect a lot of people will hold onto M1 Macs until they straight up die given how well they perform. 
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    chasm said:
    charlesn said:
    Of course. Apple has to do this upgrade but... as we're seeing with the M3 iMacs, the new base M3 chip alone still doesn't offer an especially compelling upgrade even over the M1 chip, to say nothing of the M2 chips currently in the Airs. 
    In point of fact, the M3 is a double-digit increase over the M1. You’re correct that it’s not a compelling upgrade if you recently bought an M2, but who does that other than the ultra-rich or reviewers?

    As mentioned in the actual article, the M2 and M3 are aimed at the HUGE percentage of Mac owners who haven’t upgraded since the late Intel era, and didn’t want to jump on a“first gen” chip, and I include myself in that number. Macs tend to operate well for quite a number of years with normal use — I routinely see clients that have Macs that are 6+ years old and still perfectly happy with them for their general-use needs.

    My Core i9 MBP still does everything I want it to do quickly, but of course since I’m not a general-purpose user I expect to be upgrading in the near future. Ironically, I am tempted to “downgrade” from the MBP to the M2 or M3 Air, since I believe it will handle everything I’m currently doing without too much stress.

    If they hadn’t come up with that 14-inch Space Black MBP … damn you Apple! :smiley: 
    I agree with most of this, which I'll get to in a second, but about that double-digit increase over M1: 20% or less improvement in Geekbench scores doesn't translate to much when you get to real world use--hence, not a compelling upgrade unless you're coming from an Intel Air. Is the M3 enough to put some much needed mojo back in Mac sales? Not from my POV, but I guess we'll see. Your larger point though is the crux of the issue facing Apple: Macs are already faster than the vast majority of users will ever need them to be, plus they're reliable, so the upgrade cycle is going to grow longer and I'm not sure what Apple does about that. 
    muthuk_vanalingamtenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    charlesn said:
    Apple is never a leader when it comes to adopting new wifi protocols.
    The first iBook G3 released in July 1999 was the first mainstream computer to include built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi. 
    nubuswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    nubusnubus Posts: 302member
    Studio and Pro can’t wait to M4. All the GPU power mskes sense for Studio. The Max CPU is shipping. Why would Apple wait?

    + agree with @lg73 - Apple isn’t last. USB and networking in all computers? DisplayPort? DDR5 RAM? And Qi2. Yes, Apple is slow at supporting new Wifi standards. Could be due to Qualcomm and Apple product releases not being in sync. As for PCIe version on Mac Pro… Apple is rather selective on tech and some products get less attention.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Graphics architecture in the M3 family is a major step forward. Some things won’t be seen unless you’ve got A17/M3 or better. It will be front and center with the Studio and Pro — if there is a wait until later in 2024, we can hope that new and/or improved Studio and Pro displays could be part of that.
    edited December 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    I find it hard to believe that Apple will not introduce an M3 Max and M3 Ultra Mac Studio and Mac Pro in the first quarter of 2024.  If they wait until June and WWDC, the M3 Max will already be a seven month old processor and the M4 would be just five to six months away.

    If they wait to late 2024, then the next Mac Studio and Mac Pro will almost certainly be in the M4 processor family.   

    I think the calendar for the start of the year will look more like this:
    Mid-January:  M3 Max and Ultra in the Studio and Pro  (Surprising everyone.). Also, USB-C keyboards, mice, and trackpad.   Updated displays would be nice too.

    Late February:  VisionPro  (look for a Super Bowl commercial on February 11...it's been 40 years since the original Macintosh was announced that way...great way to celebrate that milestone.)

    Early to mid: March:  New iPad line up, and M3 MacBook Airs



    williamlondonwatto_cobra
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