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Apple's First M3 MacBooks Coming Next Year, Claims Shipment Forecast

Apple's First M3 MacBooks Coming Next Year, Claims Shipment Forecast Apple will release its first MacBooks based on TSMC's 3nm fabrication process in 2024, not this year as some rumors have suggested. That's according to a new five-year global notebook shipments forecast published by DigiTimes.

Predicting an end to a two-year decline in the notebook market, the report forecasts a 4.7% shipment growth in 2024 driven by the easing of inflation and the introduction of new products, including new MacBooks powered by 3nm-based chips. From the report:
In 2023, the share of notebooks built using Arm-based processors will likely decrease rather than increase because Apple, which adopts in-house designed Arm-based CPUs for most of its notebook lineups, is expected to experience a significant decline in shipments in 2023 as the US brand vendor plans to transit to CPUs built by a 3nm node at TSMC for performance upgrading in 2024.
In July, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said October of this year could see the announcement of the first Macs with the M3 chip. Given that Apple launched new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in January, and more recently new 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌, ‌Mac Studio‌, and ‌Mac Pro‌ models in June, Gurman said the first beneficiaries of the new M3 chip would likely be the next ‌iMac‌, 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌, and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

However, more recently in September, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that it seemed Apple will not launch new MacBook models with M3 series chips before the end of this year. Kuo only ruled out new MacBooks though, which appears to leave open the possibility of a new iMac coming this year. The current model featuring the M1 chip has now been on sale for over two and a half years.

DigiTimes itself recently suggested Apple would make a MacBook Pro announcement before the holidays. The Taiwan-based outlet earlier this month claimed Apple is preparing to ship new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with more power-efficient mini-LED displays before the year is out. That report did not mention the processor the models would be based on, but Gurman has previously said the next version of these two machines will feature M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, and that they will "probably" launch by the middle of 2024 at the latest.

The as-yet-unannounced M3 chip is widely expected to be fabricated with TSMC's 3nm process for performance and power efficiency improvements compared to the current 5nm-based ‌M2‌ chip, which debuted in June 2022. It will also likely feature an all new GPU with hardware ray-tracing, first introduced on the iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip last month.
Tags: DigiTimes, M3

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