Following the unveiling of the M2 chip at WWDC and the rollout of the first M2 laptops just weeks later, a new rumor claims that Apple is already preparing for the next round of Apple silicon updates.
In the latest issue of its Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is working on updates for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which only arrived in October last year. The new laptops, which are expected to “stay roughly the same” except for the addition of the faster chips, could arrive as early as the fall.
That would represent a much faster release schedule. Apple upgraded the M1 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro after about 18 months, and the Mac mini probably won’t get an M2 update for the next two years. The M1 iMac has also been on the shelves for more than a year and is not expected to get an M2 until 2023.
However, it may make sense for Apple Pro to release updates at a faster pace. Pro users are generally more demanding and will upgrade their equipment faster. In addition, a faster cycle would eliminate any confusion between the high-end M1 chips and the entry-level M2 chips, which are significantly slower despite the larger number. Read: M2 vs M1 Pro, Max and Ultra: Why Apple’s latest chip isn’t the best.
Like the M2 chip, the M2 Pro and M2 Max are expected to focus “on the graphics side,” Gurman said. That probably means the chips will get a boost in cores, from 14 and 16 cores in the M1 Pro to 18 and 20 cores in the M2 Pro, and 24 and 32 cores in the M1 Max to 30 and 38 cores in the M2 Max. That would likely lead to a significant performance improvement over the current generation. Rumor has it that the more expensive chips also use a 3nm die process versus 5nm in the M2.
The CPU cores in the M2 Pro and Max could also get a boost. While Apple kept the same 8-core CPU in the base M2 chip, rumors suggest Apple could be planning 12-core M2 Pro and M2 Max chips for an even bigger speed boost. In benchmarks, the M2 made about 20 percent gains over the M1. More cores would obviously mean faster speeds for the M2 Pro.
Gurman warns that the new laptops may not arrive until 2023 due to “ongoing supply chain challenges.”