New M3 Macs Slated for a Fall Release

Apple’s biggest event of the year is the September release of new iPhones. However, it is often followed by a Mac and iPad event in October.

We are still several months away from an event like that, but the summer rumor mill is starting to gather pace. So, here is a first look at the new Macs we might see in the Fall.

Bloomberg Teases New M3 Macs

In his weekly Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman has pulled back the curtain on the Macs that he believes will be upgraded in the Fall of 2023.

He says it’s too soon to see a refreshed 14 or 16-inch MacBook Pro or Mac Studio, so the most likely models to get the first Apple M3 chips are the iMac, the 13-inch MacBook Air, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Here’s a quick rundown of why those devices are the most likely Macs to appear at a Fall Apple event.

The Case for an M3 iMac

It’s been over two years since the M1 iMac was released. It made its debut in April 2021 and hasn’t had any upgrades since then.

The M1 chip is no slouch, but when a product goes more than two years without any updates at all, people begin to wonder if this product still has a future in the lineup. Revving the 24-inch iMac with an M3 chip helps give consumers confidence that the iMac is here to stay.

Why has it taken so long to upgrade? Apple doesn’t release any sales numbers, but the iMac is widely known to sell fewer units than Apple’s laptops, so a longer upgrade cycle is more common with products like this.

The only remaining question, then, is whether we will see any additional changes to an M3 iMac. Personally, I think the chances are high that the industrial design will remain unchanged, but we could see new colors.

There is a much rumored 32-inch iMac supposedly in the works, but Gurman doesn’t think that is likely to appear before next year.

The Case for an M3 MacBook Air

Apple has repeatedly told us that the MacBook Air is their best-selling computer. As such, it makes sense that this one gets the most frequent upgrades.

The 13-inch M2 MacBook Air was unveiled in June 2022. It was a brand-new design with new features and upgrades from the previous M1 version. That makes it just over a year old right now, so if the new M3 chip is ready, then the MacBook Air is an ideal candidate to help launch it to the masses.

Given that the current design of the 13-inch MacBook Air is so new, I don’t expect that there will be many, if any, physical design changes to the MacBook Air.

However, the recently released 15-inch MacBook Air poses an interesting dilemma for Apple. Will they put an M3 chip in the 15-inch MacBook Air, or will it keep the M2 chip for now?

I suspect the latter is more likely, although I wouldn’t bet against Apple offering the M3 chip as an option for buyers who want to pay the additional premium to get an upgraded 15-inch MacBook Air.

At some point, Apple will sync up the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models, but I don’t think they are in any rush to do that, given the performance levels of these chips. Both will be great machines.

The Case for an M3 MacBook Pro

And then there is the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Did you forget this was a product in the Mac lineup? I know I did.

I’m still not sure why Apple didn’t discontinue the 13-inch MacBook Pro when it unveiled the M2 MacBook Air, but here we are. It exists, and Gurman mentioned it among his predictions about which Macs would get the new M3 chip.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 was released at the same time as the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air. I have no idea whether Apple intends to change the design on this machine or not, but I really hope they do. The 14 and 15-inch MacBook Pros are supposed to be part of the same family, but they look entirely different (and for good reason).

That said, if Apple were to revamp the 13-inch MacBook Pro, I feel like we would have heard some rumors to that effect by now. So, it either gets a chip bump and some minor updates, or it quietly disappears from the lineup when they have sold all their current stock.

Final Thoughts

There was a time when the Mac didn’t appear to be as important to Apple as it once was. However, that time has come and gone.

Today, it is clear that the Mac is as much a part of Apple as it has always been, and I, for one, am excited to see what we get in the Fall.

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