Apple will hold on Monday its most unusual MacBook launch event in recent years. It won’t be a press conference with a live audience, but a prerecorded event that lets Apple schedule it for 8:00 PM EST and give it a mysterious Halloween-centric aura. But the hints are there; we’re getting new Macs on October 30th, despite what some reports claimed.
Interestingly, there might be another reason why Apple is going for a launch event much later in the day than expected. Apple is supposedly targeting the working hours of Tuesday morning in Japan, as gaming will be a major focus of the M3 MacBook event.
While we wait, we have a last-minute leak that details some of the M3 chips that Apple will unveil on Monday. We’re looking at the three flavors we’ve come to expect from Apple’s chip department with each refresh. The 3nm M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max will power the 2023 and 2024 Macs.
But the MacBook I want isn’t coming on Monday. That’s the M3 MacBook Air, which fans would expect from such an event.
The MacBook Air has been at the forefront of M-series upgrades in the past. The M1 MacBook Air turned out to be a massive hit in late 2020. You can still buy the M1 MacBook Air today from Apple stores, although its retail partners will get you the best prices.
The M2 MacBook Air brought on a redesign in the summer of 2022, with a 15-inch model arriving about a year later. That later arrival of the 15-inch model might be why Apple is giving the MacBook Air a backseat today. That’s just speculation from me. But all reports say we’ll see only one M3-powered new Mac from Apple today, the 2023 iMac.
Also unusual is the release of the M3 Pro and M3 Max versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops. These powerful MacBooks will be available to buyers before the M3 MacBook Airs. That’s not the only strange thing about them.
Apple upgraded its high-end MacBooks in January. Giving the laptops new chips 10 months later might not make sense. But Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says the early 2023 MacBook Pro refresh was actually late. Apple reportedly didn’t let that delay push back the M3 models.
It’s the same Gurman, who correctly said a week prior that new Macs were on the cards for late October, that gives us more details about the M3 chips that Apple will unveil on Monday:
- 8-core CPU: 4 high-performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
- 10-core GPU with improved memory configurations and faster performance
- 12-core CPU: 6 high-performance cores and 6 efficiency cores. It can go up to 14-core
- 18-core GPU. It can go up to 20-core GPU
- 16-core CPU: 12 high-performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
- 40-core GPU. There’s one version with 32-core GPU.
Apple will have multiple versions of M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, which users will be able to select from when customizing their MacBook Pro models. Gurman only detailed the ones above.
We’ll have to wait for Apple’s Scary Fast press event to find out all the details about the M3 performance and efficiency. But Gurman teases that we’re looking at a “considerable leap from the M2,” “vastly improved speeds,” and “better efficiency to improve battery life on notebooks.”