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M3 Macs may launch this year — with a surprising addition

We’ve only just gotten a bunch of new Macs from Apple, with the 15-inch MacBook Air launching a mere one month ago alongside a slate of other Apple computers. Yet the company is already gearing up to release M3 Macs at a special event later this year, and they could be the biggest performance upgrade we’ve seen in years.

This idea comes from journalist Mark Gurman, who has correctly predicted many upcoming products and details in Apple’s lineup. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman explains that, while there will be a whole heap of new devices arriving at an event in October, they won’t include Apple’s high-end laptops and desktops.

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Instead, we can expect a new 24-inch iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro, helping to update the company’s consumer-focused Mac selection. The latter two last received an upgrade in June 2022, when the M2 chip was added to their insides. The 24-inch iMac, though, hasn’t been touched since it launched in 2021, and still sports a first-generation M1 chip. Its inclusion is still something of a surprise since iMac rumors have been thin on the ground in recent months.

Consumer Macs being the first to upgrade to Apple’s M3 chip makes sense, as the flagship end of Apple’s Mac range just got a bunch of new additions. The first Mac Pro update in four years occurred in June 2023, while the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro laptops got M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in January 2023. The 15-inch MacBook Air only launched a month ago, so that probably won’t get an M3 update for some time.

A major step up

Two people use iMacs on a desk in an office.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s thought that at least some of the high-end M2 Macs were delayed due to supply chain issues. In an ideal world (from Apple’s perspective), the 15-inch MacBook Air and M2 Ultra Mac Pro may have made an appearance much sooner, thereby giving us a larger break before the M3 series launches. But that didn’t happen, and now we could be just months away from a new generation of Apple silicon chips — potentially crowding an already-packed MacBook range.

The M3 chip itself is expected to be a major step up over the current M2. That’s because the M3 will be made using a new 3-nanometer process, resulting in a chip that can produce higher performance while being more energy-efficient than its predecessor (which could mean more battery life).

If you’re not desperate to upgrade your Mac or get a new Apple computer, it might be worth waiting until the M3 launches. Given that it’s expected to be a major upgrade, your patience could be richly rewarded.

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