The respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has chimed in on the latest MacBook Pro rumors, predicting that new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will enter mass production in the final quarter of this year, pointing to a launch in fall or early winter.
With Apple having launched the first M2-based MacBooks earlier this year—a redesigned MacBook Air and refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro—it’s likely that the larger Pro models will feature souped-up versions of that processor branded as the M2 Pro and M2 Max. But Kuo warns that these chips may arrive too soon to benefit from eagerly awaited improved manufacturing processes that have been rumored for the high-end M2 chips.
Currently Apple’s Mac processors are based on a 5nm die. In 2023 that’s expected to transition to 3nm, a switch that will lead to faster performance, better power efficiency, and improved battery life.
The exact timing of the transition is unknown, however. Many Apple watchers had expected it to coincide neatly with the launch of the M2 Pro and Max in late 2022. But as Kuo notes, Apple supplier TSMC has released guidance that 3nm will contribute to revenue starting in the first half of 2023. (To be precise, Anandtech reports that the firm “will only be shipping [3nm chips] to an undisclosed client for revenue in the first quarter of 2023.”) That would means the new process will arrive with the first M3 Macs in mid- to late-2023.
Following that pessimistic but crushingly sound logic, Kuo thinks the M2 Pro and its siblings will still use a 5nm process. They will of course be faster than the standard M2 and the upgraded M1 chips from the previous generation, particularly on the graphics side of things. But we may have to miss out on the more robust performance boosts that some analysts have predicted.
In theory, the new MacBook Pros could appear at any point in the last three months of 2022, or even early in 2023. In reality, however, Apple tends to steer clear of major launches later than Thanksgiving (with the occasional exception) and it’s far more likely that TSMC will start making the chips in early October ahead of a Mac-focused Apple event later that month. A new Mac mini and Mac Pro are also rumored to arrive at that event, along with new iPads.
For the latest information, check out our regularly updated guide to the new MacBook Pro. When the devices are launched, you’ll be able to find the lowest prices in our guide to the best MacBook Pro deals.