Late 2025 for M4 Mac Studio & Mac Pro seems more certain now

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 24

A new report detailing the migration of Apple's Mac line to M4 is out, and it doubles-down on previous rumors that it's going to take a bit longer than a year for a Mac Studio or Mac Pro upgrade.

A Mac Studio on a table with other equipment around it
Mac Studio and Mac Pro may stick with M2 chips until 2025.



The Mac Studio and Mac Pro got their most recent refreshes at the 2023 WWDC. Fans of Apple's Pro desktops may be in for a wait if they want a M4 version.

In the weekly Power On newsletter from Bloomberg, there are a few more details. Specifically, the Pro-level Macs aren't expected until the tail-end of the M4 migration process.

And, that tail-end is still expected to take until the second half of 2025.

This is not the first time that this has been said. The most recent iteration of the schedule was in May, but it's been fairly consistent for about six months.

Apple's M3 chip debuted with Pro and Max versions out of the gate, at the October 2023 MacBook event. The M1 chip started at the base of the line, and worked their ways up to Pro, Max, and Ultra.

It took over a year for M1 to get an Ultra variant. The M1 Ultra debuted in the refreshed Mac Pro and then-new Mac Studio.

Apple's M1 and M2 chips in Mac Pro and Mac Studio had clear interconnects, so a chip like the Ultra was a clear possibility relatively early. The M3 does not have this obvious interconnect, so it's possible Apple had this road map in mind all along.

It's also not the first time a Mac has skipped a generation. The iMac went from M1 to M3 processor, for instance.

Relatively speaking, Apple does not sell that many Mac Studio or Mac Pro units. The company's flagships remain the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines -- and it's not close.


Rumor Score: Likely

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    bradmacprobradmacpro Posts: 123member
    Well that rather sucks if I may be so blunt. The Mac Studio with M2 Max is looking to be slower than a M4 based MacBook at this point.
    williamlondonjesusfreak
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Apple is killing me on these slow, late, or never refreshes on higher-end desktops. I was stuck on a Mac Pro 2010 until 2022, because the 2013. Mac Pro didn’t meet my needs for expansion and ports, then I was waiting on used 2019 Mac Pro deal, when they moved to ARM, then I could wait any longer for the ARM Mac Pro, so I had to settle for a Studio. I was hoping to get an M2 Mac Pro 2nd hand after an M3 or M4 refresh, but It’s looking like I’m Going to be stuck on a Mac Studio until at least 2026 or 2027.
    Fred257williamlondonjesusfreakwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    Relatively speaking, Apple does not sell that many Mac Studio or Mac Pro units. 

    I've been hoping that ACDC would mean more Ultra-class chips would be made, providing better economies of scale for investing in these high end chips than if these chips only showed up in desktop Macs. I hoped this would then translate into more frequent updates of the desktop lineup. 

    Now we know ACDC really does exist, but so far there's no evidence that it benefits the Mac desktop (although not much time has passed, so we don't know much yet). 

    But if ACDC does not benefit the Mac desktop, then two possible reasons occur to me:

    1. Maybe ACDC uses totally bespoke chips, not Ultra-class chips, and so there is no economies of scale that benefits the Mac desktop.
    2. Maybe the demand for Ultra-class chips for Apple's data centers is so great that it's crowding out the Mac desktop, at least in the short to medium run (but then maybe the economies of scale benefits will kick in longer term). 

    jesusfreakwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,107member
    The height of stupidity on Apples part if this happens. With Microsoft and Qualcomm currently flopping with Arm right now and Intel and AMD listing at sea the time to strike is now.

    Microsoft is currently doing a Recall on a brain dead feature while Google and OpenAI have been reduced by Apple into just a possible add on to the features included in the Apple Intelligence ecosystem. The time is now.

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Qualcomm-Snapdragon-X-Elite-Analysis-More-efficient-than-AMD-Intel-but-Apple-stays-ahead.850221.0.html

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-M4-SoC-analysis-AMD-Intel-and-Qualcomm-currently-don-t-stand-a-chance.839332.0.html

    williamlondonjesusfreakwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    keithwkeithw Posts: 145member
    Another bone-headed move by Apple if true! Who in their right mind would buy an M2 Studio at this point?   There will be no M3 Studio.  I don’t want or need a high-end laptop, M3, M4, whatever.  I want the I/O capability afforded by the Studio line.  Let’s get the M4 Studio line out sooner than later!
    jesusfreakwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    bewoodbewood Posts: 9member
    I hate these kind of predictions you make - 1.5 years from now. Just a bunch of... well, I don't even think Apple knows what they will be doing then sometimes. 😜
    Edgecrusherrwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,907member
    Apple recently came out with m3 and m3 max notebooks. 

    M4 in iPad was making a statement to steal Qualcomm’s thunder. Good thing they did. Mission successful. 

    The next product that makes the most sense is the Pro and Studio. 

    Though they aren’t big sellers, they certainly are halo status as performance leaders and give apple marketing and mindshare cachet. While Qualcomm is redlining their fastest chipset with more performance cores just to compete with base m3, Apple already has them smoked with m3 max and m3 pro. But the ultra (and possible “extreme?” ) Would put all the nails in everyone’s coffins.m, cementing Apple as THE place to go for speed, now and in the future. 

    Let’s be honest, the Mac Pro when it launched in 2029 was a tour de force, the ultimate. And the 2022 update was just plain embarassing. 

    The studio is fine as an (hopefully temporary?) imac replacement/upgraded mini, but it’s no mac pro. 

    An Ultra or above M4 at this time would do wonders to reestablish its footing at the top of the mountain. Sure, the studio would be there too - if there isn’t a multiple Ultra option or an “extreme” option. But that’s ok so long as it lays the smack down on everyone else. 

    Letting the m2 generation languish as the top spec Max is just horrid when you have an iPad of all things with an m4. 

    Pretty sure Apple updates the Pro and Studio level desktops with at least Ultra chips by fall. 
    keithwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    jrfunkjrfunk Posts: 11member
    Well, my studio is still Rock’n 6 maxed out Mac Pros 5.1! Obviously can’t upgrade OS! Working mostly with Avid ProTools !! We are ready to upgrade now! And we are also ready to switch platforms!! I don’t want to but no upgrades for the Tower leave us with no other choice! Waiting is not an option! 🤩⭐️🤩
    williamlondonEdgecrusherr
  • Reply 9 of 23
    charles1charles1 Posts: 83member
    Well that rather sucks if I may be so blunt. The Mac Studio with M2 Max is looking to be slower than a M4 based MacBook at this point.
    Incorrect. The internal memory bandwidth of a Mac Studio M2 is several times that of any MacBook M4. The SSD speed is astonishing, nothing like it could ever be achieved on a laptop. A fast CPU/GPU means nothing if you don't have a system board that can handle that level of performance.

    I invested heavily in a Mac Studio M2 Ultra with 4TB of SSD, correctly predicting that it would be a long time before it was dethroned as Speed King. I was correct. 
    Alex1Nwilliamlondontenthousandthingsargonautnetroxmarklarkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Alex1NAlex1N Posts: 144member
    One of the main reasons that Apple gave at the announcement of Apple Silicon was its frustration with Intel not providing timely updates on its CPUs. And now, four years on, we appear (according to rumour at least, but the clock is definitely ticking) to be in a very similar situation - with Apple being the one to drag its feet. That’s not to say that Apple Silicon isn’t a vast improvement on the Intel offerings that it replaces, but timing issues are beginning to become apparent. It’s making purchasing a Mac much more of a gamble.
    williamlondon9secondkox2king editor the gratejesusfreakCurtisHightwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    charles1 said:
    Well that rather sucks if I may be so blunt. The Mac Studio with M2 Max is looking to be slower than a M4 based MacBook at this point.
    Incorrect. The internal memory bandwidth of a Mac Studio M2 is several times that of any MacBook M4. The SSD speed is astonishing, nothing like it could ever be achieved on a laptop. A fast CPU/GPU means nothing if you don't have a system board that can handle that level of performance.

    I invested heavily in a Mac Studio M2 Ultra with 4TB of SSD, correctly predicting that it would be a long time before it was dethroned as Speed King. I was correct. 
    What kind of SSDs speeds are you getting on your Studio? They’re rated exactly the same as the comparable M2 or M3 MacBook Pros, but slightly slower than the fastest M.2 SSDs.

    Apple cut the memory bandwidth on the M3 SoCs, likely because nothing was talking advantage of it, and they probably also wanted to get energy and power down some. Since there’s no M3 Studio or Pro, we can’t know if they’d do the same for that, but likely would. 

    Currently, there’s no M4 Macs.
    williamlondon9secondkox2Alex1Nfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    keithw said:
    Another bone-headed move by Apple if true! Who in their right mind would buy an M2 Studio at this point?   There will be no M3 Studio.  I don’t want or need a high-end laptop, M3, M4, whatever.  I want the I/O capability afforded by the Studio line.  Let’s get the M4 Studio line out sooner than later!

    I have an M2 Max Mac Studio. I don't want a faster Mac - I want my M2 iPad Pro to let me work when I'm not at my desk. I was ready to completely give up on Apple - I don't say this lightly - when they decided to try gaslighting us again into hoping that someday this would happen. I am not falling for it a third time - I'm not buying an M4 iPad Pro until it can run MacOS apps and/or VMs and multitask.

    Until then, I just use my iPad Pro to take notes and do Sudoku. I don't even have Netflix, and I can't even use adblockers in Firefox so I don't watch videos on it at all.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 23
    longfanglongfang Posts: 493member
    keithw said:
    Another bone-headed move by Apple if true! Who in their right mind would buy an M2 Studio at this point?   There will be no M3 Studio.  I don’t want or need a high-end laptop, M3, M4, whatever.  I want the I/O capability afforded by the Studio line.  Let’s get the M4 Studio line out sooner than later!

    I have an M2 Max Mac Studio. I don't want a faster Mac - I want my M2 iPad Pro to let me work when I'm not at my desk. I was ready to completely give up on Apple - I don't say this lightly - when they decided to try gaslighting us again into hoping that someday this would happen. I am not falling for it a third time - I'm not buying an M4 iPad Pro until it can run MacOS apps and/or VMs and multitask.

    Until then, I just use my iPad Pro to take notes and do Sudoku. I don't even have Netflix, and I can't even use adblockers in Firefox so I don't watch videos on it at all.
    You knew what the iPad was / could do going in. That you want to make it into something else is on you, quit whining already. 
    9secondkox2king editor the gratewilliamlondonmarklarkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,907member
    Alex1N said:
    One of the main reasons that Apple gave at the announcement of Apple Silicon was its frustration with Intel not providing timely updates on its CPUs. And now, four years on, we appear (according to rumour at least, but the clock is definitely ticking) to be in a very similar situation - with Apple being the one to drag its feet. That’s not to say that Apple Silicon isn’t a vast improvement on the Intel offerings that it replaces, but timing issues are beginning to become apparent. It’s making purchasing a Mac much more of a gamble.
    Incorrect. M1 was an inaugural effort and lasted a while, but M3 and M4 both came much faster than anticipated. M4 in particular was quite the pleasant surprise. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 659member
    It makes sense, I guess. None of the stuff you would need an M4 for will be out before summer 2025. Keep in mind that most of your software STILL doesn't use the GPU, ANE, or multi-threading, or is heavily optimised for ARM. The M4 will only bring a modest single core perf increase. It can be interesting to run local LLM's, but you will pay through the nose for 128GB, and then you can run a middle of the road model. In 1.5 years time things will have changed drastically already, and you may not even need an M4.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    This post by Gruber makes me wonder if the Mac Studio and Mac Pro are delayed because Apple needs the chips (or at least TSMC capacity) for ACDC: 

    https://daringfireball.net/2024/06/wwdc24_apple_intelligence

    Surely Apple is also being persnickety with the device requirements to lessen the load on its cloud compute servers. 
    Maybe it’s totally fine with Apple right now if nobody wants to buy an M2 Ultra Mac, because maybe Apple wants those chips going into their data centers. And when m4 ultra comes out, maybe it will go into data centers before it goes into Macs. 

    Maybe Apple needs more foundry capacity. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    March 2025 will be exactly three years since the launch of the Mac Studio and the M1 Ultra.

    The M3 family caters to Apple's most important macOS hardware (MacBook Air/Pro, also iMac), and it will get another moment in the sun when Sequoia shows it's as good or better than the A17 Pro with regard to Apple Intelligence.

    M3 also stands as real-world evidence that Apple intends to keep the monolithic (base, Pro, Max) M-series silicon on pace with TSMC's logic roadmap, like the A-series, which means annual updates. We should be celebrating that.

    M3 also proves Apple is not going to keep the Ultra on the same cadence. I think there is enough flexibility in the upcoming N3P -> N2 -> N2P -> A16 progression that Apple could use an 18-month average for the Ultra, rather than 24-month. So it will skip every third generation, not every other generation.

    M4, then, will be the first step in the next step [!] for the Ultra. One thing that is poorly understood in general is just how cutting-edge UltraFusion was. M1 Ultra was the first product to use InFO-LSI (TSMC's answer to Intel's EMIB) advanced packaging, before Nvidia, before anyone. Like years ahead, not just months. But TSMC hasn't been standing still in the interim: 3DFabric has also been progressing. There will be announcements about this in September again this year. UltraFusion 2 could be on the horizon.

    Apple isn't dragging its feet, as some of the comments above suggest. It's quite the opposite. They're pushing the envelope for both performance and efficiency.
    edited June 24 williamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 659member
    blastdoor said:
    This post by Gruber makes me wonder if the Mac Studio and Mac Pro are delayed because Apple needs the chips (or at least TSMC capacity) for ACDC: 

    https://daringfireball.net/2024/06/wwdc24_apple_intelligence

    Surely Apple is also being persnickety with the device requirements to lessen the load on its cloud compute servers. 
    Maybe it’s totally fine with Apple right now if nobody wants to buy an M2 Ultra Mac, because maybe Apple wants those chips going into their data centers. And when m4 ultra comes out, maybe it will go into data centers before it goes into Macs. 

    Maybe Apple needs more foundry capacity. 
    AI inference has already moved to the edge, so users won't need fast CPU/GPU capability. Google is releasing Gemini Nano which does realtime inferencing, locally,  in the browser. Apple will do the same with Apple Intelligence.

    Unless you're training models, which an absurdly small amount of users will do, very few people 'need' an M4. All your creative apps will always feel 'not fast enough'.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    I fell for this when I bought my Mac Studio with the M1.   M2 was supposed to be a year away, came out a few months later.

    M4s are in market.  Not buying Apple is going to push this into 2025.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,332member
    Alex1N said:
    One of the main reasons that Apple gave at the announcement of Apple Silicon was its frustration with Intel not providing timely updates on its CPUs. And now, four years on, we appear (according to rumour at least, but the clock is definitely ticking) to be in a very similar situation - with Apple being the one to drag its feet. That’s not to say that Apple Silicon isn’t a vast improvement on the Intel offerings that it replaces, but timing issues are beginning to become apparent. It’s making purchasing a Mac much more of a gamble.

    What timing issues?!
    Is there another system out there that outperforms an M2 Studio? If so, then Apple might have a problem.
    If not, then you simply buy the best you can afford at the time you need the system.
    Your impatience doesn't drive Apple's product plans.
    There is always that someone who is waiting for something better/faster/smaller and never buys anything.

    Decades ago, I worked in an electronics store and we had a nice older gentleman as a regular customer. He had the means to buy nice stuff as evidenced by his purchases over the years. Yet, he only purchased inexpensive TVs and eschewed the better performing models. He kept saying he was going to wait for one of those "TVs you can hang on a wall". Well, he passed away a few years before the first plasma sets were introduced, never mind became mainstream. I know he would have been one of the first customers for a plasma.

    ikirAlex1Nwatto_cobra
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