M4 MacBook Pros tipped for a late 2024 launch

M4, M4 Pro and M4 Max chips are expected to power Apple's latest Pro laptops by the end of this year – and the Mac mini's due an upgrade too

Apple MacBook Pro M3 lifestyle image
(Image credit: Apple)
Quick Summary

Apple intends to update its MacBook Pro and Mac mini lines with M4, M4 Pro and M4 Max chips later this year. Most other Macs should get M4s in 2025.

When Apple put the M4 processor into the new M4 iPad Pros, it immediately raised a big question: when will the MacBook Pro get the same processor bump? The answer appears to be late 2024.

According to display analyst Ross Young, the panels for brand new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are planned for the third quarter of 2024, which would normally indicate a launch before the end of the year. And new MacBook Pros mean M4 MacBook Pros.

Apple is believed to be planning a Mac mini refresh this year too. As with the current model it's likely to get two flavours of processor: the standard M4, and the M4 Pro. The MacBooks are expected to get three options: M4, M4 Pro and M4 Max.

When will every Mac get an M4 upgrade?

The M4 isn't expected to come to the MacBook Air this year, and it isn't expected to make its way into the Mac Studio or Mac Pro either: their updates are likely to be in 2025. 

One Mac we don't know about is the iMac. The M3 iMac shipped in late 2023 so a refresh this year seems unlikely. However, Apple's plans for its all-in-one don't seem to follow the fairly predictable rhythms of its other Mac lines so a 2024 M4 model isn't completely out of the question.

The M4 chip uses the same 3nm production process as the M3, but as you'd expect from a new generation it's more efficient and it's more powerful. We don't know yet how powerful the Pro and Max variants will be, but benchmarks for the M4 in the iPad Pro suggest it's up to 25% faster than the M3. The current M3 has 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores; the Pro has 12 CPU cores and 18 GPU; and the Pro Max has up to 16 CPU cores and 40 GPU cores.

The M4 isn't the only big upgrade MacBook Pro buyers are waiting for: we're also expecting a thinner MacBook Pro with a similar OLED panel to the one in the new iPad Pro. However, that upgrade isn't expected before 2026.

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; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).