Apple introduces new MacBook Pro, iMac and M3 chip family

By Reuters   October 30, 2023 | 05:53 pm PT
Apple introduces new MacBook Pro, iMac and M3 chip family
The Apple logo is pictured at the company's flagship retail store in San Francisco, California Jan. 23, 2013. Photo by Reuters
Apple on Monday introduced new MacBook Pro and iMac computers and three new chips to power them, with the company saying it had redesigned its graphics processing units, a key part of the chip where Nvidia dominates the market.

The new computers and the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips were unveiled at an online event. The 14-inch MacBook Pro laptop will start at $1,599 and a 16-inch version starts at $2,499. The new iMac desktop with the M3 family of chips starts at $1,299.

Apple has seen a revitalization in its Mac business, roughly doubling its market share to nearly 11% since 2020 when it parted ways with Intel and started using its own custom-designed chips as the brains of the machines, according to preliminary data from IDC.

Apple focused the event on professional users, showing off a new secure screen sharing feature that would let professional users work on their machines from remote locations.

The company's custom chips, which use design technology from Arm Holdings, have given its Macs better battery life and, for some tasks, better performance than machines using Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Apple said the M3 Max chip was aimed at artificial intelligence developers, who need huge amounts of memory to develop chatbots and other models.

Apple's shakeup of the market has spurred Qualcomm to redouble its efforts to make Arm-based chips for Windows, announcing plans last week to release a chip that is both faster and more energy efficient than some Apple offerings. Reuters last week reported that Nvidia also plans to jump into the PC market as early as 2025.

At Apple, the Mac hit $40.18 billion in revenue for its fiscal 2022, or about 11% of its revenue. While that was up 14% from the previous fiscal year, sales this year have slowed along with the rest of the PC industry, which has suffered a post-pandemic slump.

Apple said the new chips would be the first for laptops and desktops that use 3 nanometer manufacturing technology, which will give the chips better performance for each watt of electricity used.

Apple did not name who is making the chips, but analysts believe it is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which uses the same technology to make chips for the top-end iPhone 15 models.

Throughout the event, Apple executives compared the performance of the new MacBooks and iMac machines to older Apple machines with chips from Intel, playing up how much speed customers would notice by upgrading to devices with Apple's own chips.

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