Apple's 2023 MacBook Pros may get elite processor upgrade

Top tipster spills the beans

MacBook Pro M2 2022
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Apple's brilliant M2 MacBook Pro is getting new models in 2023, and there's a chance that they may feature Apple's next-gen silicon, too.

Well, that's according to well-connected industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), who says refreshed versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro will enter production in the fourth quarter of 2022 for an early 2023 release.

The current 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are the best MacBooks Apple makes if you need pro-level power: they're the biggest and most powerful of the MacBook Pro range, so these systems listed by Kuo will be building on that legacy.

And, what's more, there's a chance that these new MacBook Pros will feature Apple's new 3nm silicon for their processors. If that happened then those laptops would deliver orders of magnitude better speed, efficiency and performance that the current-gen M2-powered systems.

The thing is, though, it looks like that upgrade very much is right now just a chance, as Kuo also says there's a very real possibility that Apple's 3nm silicon might not be ready in time for the 2023 MacBook Pros.

While previous rumours (opens in new tab) have suggested that Apple silicon would move to a much more densely packed 3nm process in 2023 for MacBook Pro, Kuo's sources say that Apple may need to stick with the 5nm process currently used for the M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

And if Apple does stick with the 5nm process that would mean that next year's MacBook Pros wouldn't get the next-gen 3nm tech.

So what's happening then with Apple's 3nm silicon?

Apple still intends to move to 3nm silicon, and is expected to put the processors into production before the end of this year. However, it might just not be ready in time for Apple to put them in its early-2023 laptops. It's possible we'll see them in a new Mac Studio or Mac Pro before we'll see them in laptops: Apple is reportedly working on M2-based minis and Pros for a possible 2023 release.

So, basically, the 2023 MacBook Pros are either going to get an upgrade or a massive upgrade depending on if they ship with the 3nm silicon. Either way, providing the price is right, Apple Mac users win. And, when Apple's laptops already smoke the competition in terms of efficiency, speed and power, either of those results will likely keep the MacBook Pro as the market-leading laptop for creative professionals.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).