Apple hasn’t officially announced the MacBook Pro M3 but rumors and reports suggest the company’s upgraded premium line of laptops are on the horizon.
If rumors are true, the next generation of MacBook Pros will sport the equally rumored Apple M3 chip. We might not see a radical redesign as we did with the MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021, but the reported new laptops should be more powerful than the current MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch. There’s also the rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro, which could release as early as this year.
Keeping in mind that what we’re about to discuss is based on rumors and alleged leaks, here’s everything we know about the MacBook Pro M3 so far.
MacBook Pro M3: Latest news (August 8)
MacBook Pro M3: Rumored release date
In one of his recent Power On newsletters (via MacRumors), Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reiterated his claims that Apple won’t release new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros in 2023. The analyst expects Apple to debut the rumored M3 chip in late 2023 (potentially revealed at the expected Apple September event). However, it’s unlikely the company will release M3-driven 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros in 2023 since it already launched M2 Pro and M2 Max-powered Pros this year.
Gurman expects an early 2024 launch for the larger Pro laptops — perhaps in late January or early February, which would be a year after the 2023 MacBook Pros released. We think Gurman’s assessment seems reasonable, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The analyst also claims Apple will debut a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 chip in late 2023. We'll dive into details about that laptop in a bit.
MacBook Pro M3: Rumored specs
The rumored MacBook Pros will allegedly pack the Apple M3 chip, which is itself still very much a rumor. The processor will reportedly use TSMC’s 3nm process. Apple would be the first company to use this advanced process node, if true. In practice, this would make the next MacBook Pros far more powerful than their predecessors whose CPUs use TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology.
According to Gurman’s sources, Apple has tested a version of the M3 Pro chip with 12 CPU cores, 18 GPU cores and 36GB of memory. The CPU will be made up of up to 6 high-performance cores and 6 efficiency cores. Apparently, this particular chip was running in a future “high-end” MacBook Pro with macOS 14 and will allegedly be the base-level version of the M3 Pro.
For reference, the M2 Pro chip features a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU and 16GB of RAM. If true, the increase in core counts over the M2 Pro would be identical to the jump from the M1 Pro to the M2 Pro. Gurman speculates that if the M3 Max received a similar gain as the M2 Max (compared to M1 Max), it would mean the next high-end MacBook Pro might pack 14 CPU cores and perhaps more than 40 GPU cores.
MacBook Pro M3: Rumored design
We haven’t heard much about the potential design of the M3-powered MacBook Pros. This is pure speculation on our part, but we wouldn’t be surprised if 2024’s Pro laptops are virtually identical to the models released in 2021 and 2022.
To that end, we expect the rumored 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros to have a flat design with rounded edges. The laptops should have a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, a six-speaker sound system, and three mics for video/voice calls. Port-wise, we should see three Thunderbolt ports, an SDXC card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and MagSafe charging.
Rumors about MacBooks with OLED displays have been circulating, but we’re not sure if the expected 2024 Pros will sport such a panel. To that end, the laptops will likely have Liquid Retina XDR displays. The laptops’ displays should also have ProMotion 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.
13-inch MacBook Pro M3
As stated above, Mark Gurman claims a new 13-inch MacBook Pro is in the works. The analyst previously claimed another version of this laptop with an M2 chip would debut at WWDC 2023. That didn’t happen, but now Gurman says the 13-inch Pro with an M3 chip could launch in late 2023 — with a potential announcement at Apple’s September event.
We know very little about this particular MacBook Pro. 2022’s MacBook Pro 13-inch M2 featured the then-new Apple M2 chip and sported a design that was half a decade old. If Apple plans to release a new 13-inch Pro, will the company give this laptop a similar design to the MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs? If so, what would meaningfully distinguish the new MacBook Pro 13-inch from the MacBook Air 13-inch?
MacBook Pro M3: Outlook
The MacBook Pro M3 laptops are all rumored at this point so it’s best to take everything in this article with some skepticism. That said, Mark Gurman has a pretty good track record with his Apple reports so it’s not unreasonable to believe most of what we covered here will come to pass in some fashion.
With Apple’s expected September event coming up, it’ll be good to see the company give us an indication about new MacBook Pros and the M3 chip they reportedly run on. Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.