Despite just updating some Macs with the M3, Apple is getting ready to launch the M4.

TL;DR: Apple M4 Chip To Launch This Year

  • What is it? The M4 is Apple’s next-generation chip family bound for its laptops and desktops. 🖥️
  • When is it coming? Late 2024—likely in October or November. 📆
  • Didn’t Apple just unveil the M3? Yes. The company only unveiled M3 Macs last fall. 🍁
  • What Macs will get the M4 first? The MacBook Pro line is likely to be the first to get M4 series chips. 💻

Apple doesn’t appear to be willing to wait when it comes to upgrading the company’s processors for its laptops and desktops. A new report out from Bloomberg says the company will launch its first M4-powered computers this year.

The news is surprising considering that Apple only last month updated its most popular MacBook line—the MacBook Air— with M3 chips. And Apple only introduced the M3 series last fall at the very tail end of October.

At the time, Apple said of the M3: “Apple today announced M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max, three chips featuring groundbreaking technologies that deliver dramatically increased performance and unleash new capabilities for Mac. These are the first personal computer chips built using the industry-leading 3-nanometer process technology, allowing more transistors to be packed into a smaller space and improving speed and efficiency. Together, M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max show how far Apple silicon for the Mac has come since the debut of the M1 family of chips.”

The big draw of the M3 over the M2 series of chips was the 3nm process used to make the chips, making them faster and more power efficient. But the new M4 chips are also expected to use a version of the 3nm process, so what will their big draw be?

According to Bloomberg, Apple is designing the M4 series to power its computers and the upcoming Ai processes and tools Apple will add to them.

Bloomberg says the new chips will come in three varieties—likely the base M4, the M4 Pro, and the M4 Max. The base M4 is likely destined for Apple’s upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro and, next year, for the MacBook Air lineup.

But first, Bloomberg says that the new chips will arrive in the low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, high-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac. The computers will get the M4, the M4 Pro, and the M4 Max, with the higher-end chips destined for Apple’s most expressive, professional machines. Bloomberg says the M4 family will then come to the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro sometime in 2025 after the MacBook Air family receives the chips.

“The M4 chip line includes an entry-level version dubbed Donan, more powerful models named Brava and a top-end processor codenamed Hidra,” Bloomberg explains. “The company is planning to highlight the AI processing capabilities of the components and how they’ll integrate with the next version of macOS, which will be announced in June at Apple’s annual developer conference.”

What’s really astonishing about the new highest-end M4 chips is that they will reportedly be able to support up to half a terabyte of RAM—that’s 512GBs. Currently, the maximum RAM an M-series Mac can take advantage of is just 192GB.

The reason for the increased RAM and other upgraded features of the M4 family is that Apple is planning to add a number of AI features to their Macs over the coming years. But unlike most AI tools, which run on powerful servers in the cloud, Apple wants its AI to crunch tasks locally on a user’s device, which will require them to have more power than they do today.

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