Apple unveiled new MacBook Pro and iMac computers, along with three new chips to power them on Monday. The company announced a redesign of its graphics processing units (GPU), a critical component of the chip where Nvidia holds a dominant position in the market.
These new computers and the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips were presented during an online event that heavily catered to professional users.
In the United States, the 14-inch MacBook Pro laptop will have a starting price of $1,599, while the 16-inch version starts at $2,499. The new iMac desktop, featuring the M3 chip family, starts at $1,299. Some of these products will be available for purchase next week, while others are scheduled to ship later in November.
Apple has experienced a resurgence in its Mac business, with its market share nearly doubling to approximately 11% since 2020 when it transitioned away from Intel and began employing its custom-designed chips as the core components of its machines. This information is based on preliminary data from IDC.
As a part of its emphasis on business users during Monday’s presentation, Apple also introduced a new secure screen sharing feature that enables remote access to their machines.
Apple’s proprietary chips, incorporating design technology licensed from Arm Holdings, have bestowed its Mac computers with superior battery life and, in certain applications, outperform machines running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
In contrast to many laptop manufacturers that often pair an Intel central processor unit (CPU) with an Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU), Apple has integrated both components into its Apple silicon chips. This approach, according to the company, provides it with a performance edge over its competitors.
Apple’s disruptive influence on the market has motivated Qualcomm to intensify its endeavors to create Arm-based chips for Windows. Just last week, Qualcomm revealed plans to introduce a chip that surpasses certain Apple offerings in terms of both speed and energy efficiency. Furthermore, it was reported by Reuters that Nvidia is also gearing up to enter the PC market as early as 2025.
In the context of corporate buyers.
Apple has targeted its new machines primarily at designers, musicians, and software developers. It highlighted how its memory usage can be leveraged by artificial intelligence researchers, who often encounter limitations in their chatbots and other creations due to memory constraints.
Apple has also made adjustments to its overall lineup of computers that could influence the behavior of corporate purchasers. While reducing the price of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro in the U.S. from $1,999 to $1,599, it appears that Apple may have eliminated a less expensive $1,299 13-inch model of the MacBook Pro that was popular among businesses. This change is likely to streamline the selection process between Apple’s productivity-focused MacBook Air models, which top out at $1,299, and the new MacBook Pro models starting at $1,599.
In fiscal 2022, the Mac segment generated $40.18 billion in revenue for Apple, constituting approximately 11% of its total revenue. This represented a 14% increase from the previous fiscal year. However, sales have decelerated this year in line with the broader PC industry, which has experienced a slowdown post-pandemic.
Apple’s announcement mentioned that the new chips would be the first for laptops and desktops to utilize 3 nanometer manufacturing technology, enhancing performance efficiency per watt of electricity consumed.
Although Apple did not disclose the chip manufacturer, analysts speculate that it is likely to be Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which employs the same technology for manufacturing chips for the top-end iPhone 15 models.
Throughout the event, Apple’s executives compared the performance of the new MacBooks and iMac machines to older Apple devices featuring Intel chips, emphasizing the noticeable speed improvements that customers would experience when upgrading to devices equipped with Apple’s proprietary chips.
Report by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional contributions from Shivani Tanna and Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru, and Peter Henderson and Sayantani Ghosh in San Francisco; Edited by Marguerita Choy and Jamie Freed.