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Updated October 24: article originally posted October 23.
Just as the Apple faithful had settled into the idea of no new MacBooks in October, details on a surprising MacBook Pro launch before the end of October have emerged.
The details come from Bloomberg ’s Mark Gurman. Writing for the Power On newsletter , he says that Apple is preparing to launch a number of new "Mac-centered products around the end of the month."
Update: Tuesday October 24: Apple has set the Mac community alight and confirmed an event for Monday October 30 at 5 p.m. Pacific time ( Forbes ’ David Phelan has more on the launch ).
Unlike the colorful invites to the iPhone launch or even the WWDC keynotes, the digital invitation is a dark background with a rear illuminated Apple logo. The only other detail of note is the event name, “Scary Fast.”
Given this is taking place the day before Halloween, I think it’s clear why that adjective has been chosen. “Fast” is the key to unlocking the event, but it's a key that is missing a few pieces of information. For example, what products are being launched? There’s a growing sense that we’ll be seeing new Macs launched, and with the iMac and MacBook Pro highlighted this weekend, we’ll likely see these products at a minimum.
Apple Leak Confirms New MacBook Pro Feature Shock
If these are the new products, then how fast will they be? As discussed below, the iMac and the MacBook Pro have faster options based on M2 Apple Silicon technology. Another option is the M3 family that Apple is working on. Previous reports have suggested that the M3-powered MacBook Air and the M3 Pro and M3 Max-powered MacBook Pro would not be ready until late in the first half of 2024.
Both options would be “scary fast,” so which will be the Halloween surprise?
For most of 2023, Apple has been expected to update its consumer-facing MacBook Air laptops in October ahead of the holiday season. At the end of August, the mood changed and Apple’s updated macOS laptops were pushed into 2024.
The delays were all seen to impact the next generation of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, specifically those that would ship with Apple’s M3 chipset. A new M3-powered MacBook Air is expected to launch next year, likely late in Q2, with M3-powered MacBook Pros slightly earlier. I’d expect to see these laptops, and the release of the M3 architecture, to take place at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June 2024.
Which leaves a question of what laptops could be coming at the end of this year? Gurman has cited updates to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models . These currently run the M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets, evolutions of the base M2 chipset. There is one more M2 evolution of note, which is the M2 Ultra available in the Mac Studio . Adding an additional M2 Ultra MacBook Pro model at the top end of the performance window is an attractive option that does not disrupt the launch of the M3 platform and allows the M3 launches next year to not be overshadowed.
A second Apple Silicon powered iMac is also expected. Again, it’s highly unlikely to ship with the M3 chipset, but given only the M1-powered iMac is on sale , a move to the M2 platform allows Apple to offer new hardware at the end of the M2 product cycle without pre-empting plans for 2024.
It might not be the MacBook that everyone was expecting in October, but Apple’s omerta-esque obsession with saying nothing about upcoming products, this is the MacBook that everyone will be offered in October.
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop digest...