Apple's M3 Macs tipped for October launch date

M3 Macs are still coming, but they're not coming quite as quickly as some rumours suggested

Apple MacBook Air M2
(Image credit: Apple)

We’ve been hearing rumours about the next generation of Macs with M3 Apple Silicon inside – some rumours predicted an unveiling at this Summer’s WWDC 2023, although that turned out to be optimistic. But the M3 chip will is still expected to make its way into this year's smaller MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, and a new report says we’ll see them in October.

The report comes from our old friend Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, who says that after the annual iPhone event expected in September there “should be another launch”. He’s making an informed guess rather than passing on secret Apple intel, though: “October is too early for new high-end MacBook Pros or desktops, so the first beneficiaries of the new chip should be the next iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro,” he says.

What does the M3 processor mean for 2023’s new Macs?

We’ve had reports of two M3-powered laptops in late-stage development, and while the new silicon should mean improved performance it’s unlikely to be a huge leap in processor technology: the M3 isn’t expected to have significantly more CPU or GPU cores than the M2, but it’ll be made with a 3nm process that should deliver important speed and energy efficiency gains.

Gurman had previously predicted an M3 iMac too, but that has apparently moved down the list somewhat and is now predicted for a late-2024 release, possibly with a much bigger 32-inch display.

After the initial excitement of Apple’s move to M-series processors for its Macs, things have calmed down a bit: as with the processors in the iPhone and iPad, a yearly upgrade cycle means annual improvements of an evolutionary rather than revolutionary kind – so while I’d expect these to be the fastest-ever MacBooks and Airs, they’re hardly going to make the current crop of M2 or even M1 models look like arthritic old machines. But as people tend to replace their Macs less frequently than their phones, these new Macs are going to feel incredibly fast to the people upgrading from older kit.

Carrie Marshall

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 more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (