A Mac mini with an Apple M3 chip was rumored to be releasing this fall, but it looks like we may not see the tiny PC until next year.
Writing in the latest edition of his ‘Power On’ newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (via MacRumors) says it’s “a sure thing that an M3 version of the Mac mini is eventually coming.” However, the reporter now expects the device to be held back to 2024, which contradicts earlier rumors that the new Mini would launch this October.
Previously, speculation pointed to the Mac mini M3 being launched some time after the annual Apple September event, but this no longer seems to be the case.
The reason for the delay? Gurman speculates it’s because Apple doesn’t see the mini as a product that needs an annual refresh. After all, the Mac mini M2 launched this past January, which was almost two years after the release of the Mac Mini M1. If such a pattern occurs again, it could mean we don’t see the Mac Mini M3 until well into 2024.
Gurman also expects further delays when it comes to the Macbook Pro 15-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch, predicting a mid-2024 launch for both. Like the upcoming Mini, these laptops should also use Apple’s latest M3 silicon; in this case the M3 Pro and M3 Max chipsets.
What is the Apple M3 chip?
Though the company hasn’t officially confirmed it yet, we expect the Apple M3 chip could launch before the end of the year.
The latest silicon will apparently use TSMC’s 3nm process; making Apple the first company to deploy this advanced process node, providing the rumors are true. What does this mean in terms of real-world use? The next line of MacBook Air and iPad Pro models should be far more powerful than their M2 predecessors, which use TSMC’s 5-nanometer tech.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||M3 Pro||M2 Pro|
According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, Apple has already tested an early version of the M3 Pro chip and it boasts some impressive numbers. The M3 Pro is said to have 10 GPU cores, 36GB of memory and 18 GPU cores. This specific configuration was allegedly being tested in a future “high-end” MacBook Pro.
For context, the M2 Pro chip in the likes of the MacBook Air 15-inch has a 10-core CPU, an 18-core GPU and 16GB of memory, so the jump in specs of the rumored M3 Pro look significant.
If the upcoming Mac Mini does get the M3 Pro chip, said silicon will surely improve on a device we already love. In our Mac mini M2 review, my colleague Alex Wawro said: “Apple has outdone itself with the Mac mini M2, improving upon its predecessor’s already excellent value by chopping $100 off the price and slotting in a speedy M2 chip.”
Whether it shows up this year or not remains to be seen, but we’re already unreasonably excited about the prospect of an M3-powered Mac mini.