Signs point to Apple Silicon M3 reveal at 'Scary Fast' event

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in Future Apple Hardware

Just a week ago, the top leakers were expecting M3 Macs in 2024, but have changed their tune and are now expecting an updated iMac and MacBook Pro with M3 during the "Scary Fast" Apple Event -- but some things don't add up.

24-inch iMac with M3 could be revealed
24-inch iMac with M3 could be revealed



The rumor cycle has been in chaos in recent weeks. First, a bevy of leakers suggested iPads would arrive -- which didn't. Instead, we got the Apple Pencil with USB-C.

Seven days after saying M3 in 2024, Mark Gurman on October 22 entered the ring with an end-of-October Apple event prediction, which was announced on Tuesday. "Scary Fast" is the tagline for this event, and a Happy Mac icon is used for the artwork.

All signs point to some kind of Mac reveal, but which models and chipsets are still in some question. The general leaker commentary remained eerily silent since Gurman's October event proclamation on Sunday, and Kuo has since reversed course on a previous timeline he shared. And, on Tuesday, nine days after that M3 in 2024 prediction, Gurman now thinks that Monday is the day.

The case for M3 at Scary Fast



Apple loves patterns, and the M-series processors seem to follow a release pattern that's slightly accelerating. The M1 processor had a 19-month lifespan before M2 arrived.

M3 could be revealed during Scary Fast event
M3 could be revealed during Scary Fast event



M2 was revealed during WWDC in 2022, only three months after M1 Ultra arrived in Mac Studio. Since then, we've seen M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra -- all within about 12 months.

So, it stands to reason that M3 could arrive three months after M2 Ultra at a late October event. Mark Gurman suggests a 24-inch iMac update is possible, while Ming-Chi Kuo points to a 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh.

Since the 15-inch MacBook Air was only just updated with M2, it seems unlikely that either MacBook Air model will get an update so soon. Apple's other Macs use higher-end chipsets, and M3 Pro likely isn't ready for prime time.

Apple recently released the 15-inch MacBook Air with M2
Apple recently released the 15-inch MacBook Air with M2



That leaves just the Mac mini as a possible option for an M3 reveal. However, that model was upgraded with M2 and M2 Pro in January.

Apple also ordered all of TSMC's 3nm stock for A17 Pro, leaving little room for an M3 launch in 2023. Kuo's reasoning on this is that Apple would limit the initial stock of the updated MacBook Pro to about 500k units.

If this is true, this is a third of what's historically been available for previous MacBook Pro debuts. This doesn't feel like enough supply, given that those previous launches were constrained for about a month as well.

M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros too



Gurman's Sunday newsletter mentioned the 24-inch iMac and 13-inch MacBook Pro, using low inventory for customer orders as a sign of an imminent update. He also mentioned another set of Macs: Apple's high-end MacBook Pro models.

Apple's MacBook Pro lineup was updated in January
Apple's MacBook Pro lineup was updated in January



Gurman suggests that Apple will refresh the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro and M3 Max processors less than a year after their M2 updates. His previous reports suggest these laptops are in the final stages of testing and are ready to release at any time.

That means the event could have the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chipsets announced all at once, at 8 p.m. EST, in a pre-recorded video with no press in attendance. Apple has never released multiple M-series processors in such a fashion before.

Gurman reported in March that the 24-inch iMac with M3 was in DVT testing, then in August said the MacBook Pro models with M3 were being tested.

MacBook Pro could get an upgrade on Monday
MacBook Pro could get an upgrade on Monday



According to Gurman, the M3 Max will start with a base configuration of 16 CPU cores, using 12 performance and four efficiency cores, and a 32-core GPU. On the high end, the M3 Max will have the same 16-core CPU but a 40-core GPU.

Let's not forget what we mentioned before -- Apple ordered all of TSMC's 3nm stock for iPhone's A17 Pro. It doesn't seem likely that Apple would have space to order for one additional chipset, let alone three.

If M3 isn't ready for prime time, then Apple's prep for a high-end MacBook Pro reveal could point to an M2 Ultra model. Apple has reserved the ultra chipsets for desktops so far, but the MacBook with an upgrade to it's USB-C could handle 200W of charging, which is more than enough for the powerful chipset.

Signs also point to an M2 iMac refresh



Apple set the Scary Fast event for 8 p.m. EST, which is a first for the company. Given the late timeframe, this has led to speculation about the event's significance.

An M2 iMac update is also likely
An M2 iMac update is also likely



It seems unlikely that Apple would usher in the next-generation of Apple Silicon for Mac at a late event with no in-person press. Also, Apple Vision Pro uses the M2 processor, which some suggest would be undermined by a premature M3 launch.

Rumors suggest that Apple could update the 24-inch iMac to run an M2 processor. It was among the first products to run M1 and hasn't been updated since its initial launch in 2021.

Some leakers have gotten their hands on different colored braided USB-C cables in the run-up to the iPhone 15. Initial speculation suggested they were color-matched to the iPhone, but instead, they may be for New iMacs and paired accessories.

24-inch iMac models come with color-matched cables
24-inch iMac models come with color-matched cables



Speaking of, Apple updated iPhone 15 to use USB-C. So, it's only a matter of time before new magic accessories that use the port are announced.

A short event with an iMac update, USB-C accessories, and perhaps Craig Federighi dressed as a vampire might be enough to warrant a video event versus a press release.

Mark Gurman says Apple wouldn't host a formal event with a video, invitation, and hype ahead of an iMac refresh for just an M2 chip upgrade. That argument has some merit, given that Apple used press releases to announce the updated MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max in January.

However, the iMac is a consumer-focused product. Apple's push for hype around the iMac, plus an opportunity to promote iPhone 15 Pro gaming and Apple TV+, seems like a great time to have an event.

Time will tell



Monday, October 30, is only a few days away, so there's not much time left for additional leaks or speculation. While Apple has been known to throw long events for iPhone announcements and WWDC, short events for a handful of products have also occurred previously.

Apple's Scary Fast event will reveal all
Apple's Scary Fast event will reveal all



The Scary Fast event could also be an opportunity for Apple to celebrate the launch of Resident Evil games on iPhone 15 Pro with hardware ray tracing. It wouldn't be surprising to see some Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade promotions at the event, too.

Rumors around product releases for this time of year have been nearly non-existent. So, expect minor updates like AirPods Max with USB-C or other accessory releases rather than life-altering new product lines.

Apple is holding the Scary Fast event at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, October 30.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,140member
    If this was just the M2 and M2 Pro in the iMac with this slogan, there's going to be so much disappointment lol 

    I hope the M3 family is a bigger gain than A17
    d_2williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 42
    d_2d_2 Posts: 117member
    This article jumps around illogically, M2 or M3… and misses the initial point that it would be 16 months from M2 release to M3 vs 19 months from M1 release to M2.

    Wishful thinking from the invite - a black Mac / MB Pro with a glowing Apple logo (yes, I know Fluorescent tubes for LCD backlights are many years long gone… so just use some mini LEDs and that would look awesome)
    curtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 42
    M3 MacBook Pro would be PERFECT for me!

    My 2019 i9 MacBook Pro chugs along. Sometimes painfully. Slowly.

    We shall see…
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Now if only we could ge these processors in the Apple TV so that proper  AAA games could be developed for Arcade+
    9secondkox2curtis hannahpulseimageswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Blizzard said:
    Now if only we could ge these processors in the Apple TV so that proper  AAA games could be developed for Arcade+
    Always thought apple should offer a hardware “Apple Arcade” and rebrand the game service to “Apple Arcade plus.” This would be a powerful version of the Apple TV and the branding reflects what apple has already done with Apple TV hardware and Apple TV plus service. People who do t care about games can buy Apple TV and those who do have an apple game console for aaa gaming that’s also an Apple TV. 

    The issue would be developers jumping in. If apple did something bold like squiring star citizen (now that squadron 42 is feature complete) and a AAA developer or three (BioWare’s mass effect would be right at home on Mac) that would go a long way. The fact that MacBook pros and other macs will also be able to play these games means the potential install base is quite large. 
    edited October 2023 oberpongowatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Actually, it wasn’t just the Pencil. I forget which, but one iPad was updated. That likely spurred the rumor about new iPads.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 42
    If it's not an M3 reveal, the event seems pointless, the M2 MacBook Pros were released with no prior notice of the press event, so that was less of a deal than an M2 iMac nearly 18 months after the M2 came out. Also they're clearly talking a speed increase. The bigger question is what's receiving M3, iPad Pro's, a MacBook Air or both MacBook Airs and the 13 inch Pro, Mac Mini, or will it be dedicated to the iMac?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 42
    Alex1NAlex1N Posts: 127member
    Gah, it’s all rubbish. The grand reveal will probably be - a new mouse. I’ve completely given up on a new iMac. Life’s too short.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 42
    Apple is holding the Scary Fast event at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, October 30.

    It’s either “ET” or “EDT” but not “EST” as we will be in the last week of daylight savings.
    namethesprucewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,040member
    Apple is holding the Scary Fast event at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, October 30.

    It’s either “ET” or “EDT” but not “EST” as we will be in the last week of daylight savings.
    Clearly an error in the article. The Apple announcement says 5pm PT, and that generally refers to the local time in Cupertino. As you correctly note, that will be PDT, so 5p PT is 8p EDT, or 7p EST. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    M3 MacBook Pro would be PERFECT for me!

    My 2019 i9 MacBook Pro chugs along. Sometimes painfully. Slowly.

    We shall see…
    You obviously didn’t live through previous CPU switches… (68k to PPC then PPC to Intel). Within 2 years the fanciest machine with the old architecture became worthless. Honestly at this point I don’t understand why anyone buys Intel computers. Sell that i9 while you can still squeeze some bucks out of it.
    Stabitha_Christiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 42
    “Scary fast” is a bit of a spectacular headline if just the M2 is going to be released.

    Even the M2 Pro/Max ones have been released and won’t surprise on performance and therefore a launch of an M2 powered iMac will be seen by the public as disappointing.

    At the same time, there’s a surplus of M2 chips in Apple’s inventory, and any upgrade for specifically the iMac will be a desirable one especially when M2 Pro is offered.
    For an event like this at the end of the year, my bet is on this: M2/M2 Pro powered iMacs. 
    Which means I’ll have to wait for the next revision and meanwhile stick to the excellent Mac Mini M1.

    ps: my bet is on Apple announcing the public version of the Vision Pro with an M3 chip. They will do so to be able to incorporate hardware ray-tracing which will be useful for mixed reality purposes. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    Could this be a redesign of the 13" MacBook Pro? In black? 

    iMac gets M2, then they roll out a new product, the M3 MacBook Pro.

    No M3 Pro/Max until WWDC.

    Edit to add that it’s not a live event. The teaser isn’t an invitation for anyone. It’s basically a video announcement and a press release. 
    edited October 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 42
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member

    Just a week ago, the top leakers were expecting M3 Macs in 2024, but have changed their tune and are now expecting an updated iMac and MacBook Pro with M3 during the "Scary Fast" Apple Event -- but some things don't add up.

    ...
    24-inch iMac with M3 could be revealed

    ...

    M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros too

    Online Apple Stores in many European countries still display the 14-inch and 16-inch M2 MacBook Pros as "new". Could this mean that there will be no updates for them in the upcoming event?

    If so, I guess it will be mainly about the iMac, introducing the new M3 chip, with the "pro" and "max" versions coming later in spring 2024 for the MacBook Pros. The iMac has been forgotten for two and a half years so far. Giving it now the M2 chip while the Macbook Air got it last year does not make much sense.



    edited October 2023 Alex1NCheeseFreezewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 42
    If they can’t produce a lot of M3 than putting it in a high margin low demand product makes most sense. I expect iMac 32inch. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    in the report that claimed Apple bought all of TSMC‘s 3 nm, there’s nothing about it all being for the A17 Pro. that includes the link in the article.

    The animation of the Apple and the Mac Finder face logos heavily imply hardware ray tracing coming to the Mac. Also remember, the M1 Pro was “scary fast” and the M1 Max was “scary faster” in 2021.
    programmermarcusj0015watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 42
    If it's not an M3 reveal, the event seems pointless, the M2 MacBook Pros were released with no prior notice of the press event, so that was less of a deal than an M2 iMac nearly 18 months after the M2 came out. Also they're clearly talking a speed increase. The bigger question is what's receiving M3, iPad Pro's, a MacBook Air or both MacBook Airs and the 13 inch Pro, Mac Mini, or will it be dedicated to the iMac?
      The iMac is also switching to USB-C and they might also offer an M2Pro option.   And maybe something else…..
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 42
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,453member
    DoubleJac said:
    in the report that claimed Apple bought all of TSMC‘s 3 nm, there’s nothing about it all being for the A17 Pro. that includes the link in the article.

    The animation of the Apple and the Mac Finder face logos heavily imply hardware ray tracing coming to the Mac. Also remember, the M1 Pro was “scary fast” and the M1 Max was “scary faster” in 2021.
    I was going to say the same thing about 3nm capacity.  Whether the logo says anything about anything other than Apple’s art department, we shall see.  And most of their chip announcements have been fancy pre-recorded videos anyhow, so another shouldn’t be a surprise.  
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42
    An event the 31 octobre, evening/late afternoon ?

    Plus a chip with hardware ray tracing support ?

    To me, it sound that there is a gaming market implication in this event. An M3 iMac, sold as the first gaming oriented iMac.

    Well, you heard it here first ;)

    Maurizio
    namethesprucewatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    M3 MacBook Pro would be PERFECT for me!

    My 2019 i9 MacBook Pro chugs along. Sometimes painfully. Slowly.

    We shall see…
    You obviously didn’t live through previous CPU switches… (68k to PPC then PPC to Intel). Within 2 years the fanciest machine with the old architecture became worthless. Honestly at this point I don’t understand why anyone buys Intel computers. Sell that i9 while you can still squeeze some bucks out of it.
    No, they weren’t worthless. You couldn’t get a new OS upgrade, but the computers were useful for years afterwards.
    macxpressCheeseFreezeRogue01watto_cobra
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