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Just a week ago, top news leaders were expecting an M3 Mac in 2024 year, but changed their setup and are now expecting updated iMacs and MacBook Pros with M3 during Apple's “Scary Fast” event — but some things don't add up.
The rumor mill has been in chaos in recent weeks. Firstly, a group of sources suggested that there would be iPads — which didn't happen. Instead, we got an Apple Pencil with USB-C.
Seven days after M3's 2024 performance, Mark Gurman entered the ring on October 22 with Apple's end-October forecast, which was announced on Tuesday. The tagline for this event is “Scary Fast” and the design uses the Happy Mac icon.
All signs point to some kind of Mac presentation, but exactly which models and chipsets remain in question. The source's general comment remained eerily silent following Gurman's announcement of the October event on Sunday, and Kuo has since reversed course to the previous timeline he shared. And on Tuesday, nine days after predicting M3 in 2024, Gurman now thinks Monday is the day.
The case for M3 at Scary Fast
Apple loves patterns, and the M series processors seem to be following a release pattern that's speeding up a bit. Before the introduction of the M2, the M1 processor had a lifespan of 19 months.
The M2 was unveiled during WWDC in 2022, just three months after the M1 Ultra appeared in Mac Studio. Since then we've seen the M2 Pro, M2 Max and M2 Ultra — all this in about 12 months.
So it stands to reason that the M3 could appear three months after the M2 Ultra at an event in late October. Mark Gurman suggests that an upgrade to the 24-inch iMac is possible, while Ming-Chi Kuo points to an upgrade to the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Since the 15-inch MacBook Air was just updated to M2, it is unlikely that any MacBook Air model will receive the update so soon. Apple's other Macs use higher-end chipsets, and the M3 Pro probably isn't ready for prime time just yet.
That leaves only the Mac mini as a possible option for the M3 unveiling. However, this model was updated to M2 and M2 Pro in January.
Apple has also ordered all of TSMC's 3nm inventory for the A17 Pro, leaving little room for the M3's 2023 launch. Kuo argues that Apple will limit the initial supply of the updated MacBook Pro to approximately 500 thousand units. .
If true, that would be a third of what was historically available for previous MacBook Pro debuts. This offer is not enough considering that previous launches were also limited for about a month.
M3 Pro and There is also an M3 Max MacBook Pro
Gurman's Sunday newsletter mentioned the 24-inch iMac and 13-inch MacBook Pro, indicating that low inventory for customer orders is a sign that an update is coming. He also mentioned another group of Macs: Apple's high-end MacBook Pro models.
Gurman suggests Apple will update the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro and M3 Max processors are less than a year after the M2 updates. Its previous reports state that these laptops are in the final stages of testing and are ready for release at any time.
This means that the event could announce the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chipsets simultaneously at 8 pm. EST, in a pre-recorded video with no press present. Apple has never released an M series processor in this manner before.
In March, Gurman reported that the 24-inch iMac with M3 was undergoing DVT testing, and in August he reported that MacBook Pro models with M3 were being tested.
According to Gurman, the M3 Max will start with a base configuration of 16 CPU cores, using 12 performance and four efficiency cores, as well as a 32-core GPU. At the top end, the M3 Max will have the same 16-core processor but a 40-core GPU.
Let's not forget what we mentioned earlier – — Apple ordered all 3nm manufacturing processes for the iPhone A17 Pro from TSMC. It's unlikely that Apple will have room to order another chipset, let alone three.
If the M3 isn't ready for prime time, Apple's preparations for the high-end MacBook Pro could point to the M2 Ultra. Apple has reserved Ultra chipsets for desktop computers for now, but a MacBook upgraded to USB-C can handle 200W charging, which is more than enough for the powerful chipset.
Signs also indicate to update iMac M2
Apple has scheduled a Scary Fast event for 8 p.m. EST, which is a first for the company. Given the late timing, this has led to speculation about the significance of the event.
It seems unlikely that Apple will unveil the next generation of Apple Silicon for Macs at a late event with no in-person press. Additionally, Apple's Vision Pro uses the M2 processor, which some believe will be undermined by the premature launch of the M3.
Rumors suggest that Apple may update the 24-inch iMac to include the M2 processor. It was one of the first products to support M1 and has not been updated since its initial launch in 2021.
Some leakers have gotten their hands on different-colored braided USB-C cables ahead of the iPhone 15. Initial speculation suggested they were color-matched to the iPhone, but they could instead be intended for the new iMacs and paired accessories.
By the way, Apple has updated the iPhone 15 to use USB-C. So it’s only a matter of time before we announce new magical accessories using this port.
A short event featuring an iMac update, USB-C accessories, and maybe Craig Federighi in a vampire costume might be enough to justify a video event rather than a press release.
Mark Gurman says Apple won't hold an official event with videos, invitations and hype before upgrading the iMac to upgrade the M2 chip. This argument has some merit, given that Apple used press releases to announce the updated MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro and M2 Max in January.
However, the iMac is a consumer-oriented product. Apple's desire to build hype around the iMac, as well as the opportunity to promote games for the iPhone 15 Pro and Apple TV+, seems like the perfect time for the event.
Time will tell
There are only a few days left until Monday, October 30th, so there is time for There aren't many additional leaks or speculations left. While Apple is known to hold lengthy iPhone and WWDC announcement events, it has also held short events for a number of products in the past.
The Scary Fast event could also be an opportunity for Apple to celebrate the launch of Resident Evil games on the iPhone 15 Pro with hardware ray tracing. It wouldn't be surprising if the event also saw promotions for Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.
There were virtually no rumors of product releases at this time of year. So expect minor updates like AirPods Max with USB-C or other accessories, rather than new life-changing product lines.
Apple is hosting a Scary Fast event at 8 p.m. EST on Monday, October 30.