Apple has introduced a series of new MacBook Pro and iMac computers, along with three cutting-edge chips to power them, targeting professional users.
Cupertino, California-based Apple has announced a significant redesign of its graphics processing units (GPUs), a critical component of its chips, challenging the dominance of Nvidia in the market.
In the United States, the 14-inch MacBook Pro laptop will be available at a starting price of $1,599, while the price of 16-inch version starts at $2,499. The new iMac desktop, equipped with the M3 family of chips, starts at $1,299.
Apple has witnessed a resurgence in its Mac business, nearly doubling its market share to nearly 11 percent since 2020 when it transitioned away from Intel processors to its own custom-designed chips to power its machines, as per preliminary data from IDC.
As part of its focus on business users during the event, Apple also introduced a new secure screen sharing feature, enabling remote access to Mac machines for professionals.
Apple’s custom chips, designed using technology from Arm Holdings, have brought significant improvements to its Macs, including enhanced battery life and, for certain tasks, superior performance compared to machines running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
In contrast to other laptop manufacturers that often combine a central processing unit (CPU) from Intel with a separate GPU from Nvidia, Apple has integrated both elements into its Apple silicon chips, claiming superior performance over its competitors, Reuters news report said.
Apple’s transformative impact on the market has spurred Qualcomm to intensify its efforts to develop Arm-based chips for Windows, including a recent announcement of plans to release a chip that is both faster and more energy-efficient than some Apple offerings. In addition, recent reports have suggested that Nvidia is planning to enter the PC market as early as 2025.
The new Apple devices are specifically tailored for designers, musicians, and software developers. The company also highlighted how its memory usage can benefit artificial intelligence researchers, whose work often hinges on the amount of data a computer’s memory can accommodate.
Apple has made strategic changes to its computer lineup that could influence corporate buyers. While reducing the starting price of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro to $1,599 (down from $1,999), it appears that Apple has discontinued the $1,299 13-inch model of the MacBook Pro, which was popular among businesses. This move is expected to provide a clearer distinction between Apple’s productivity-focused MacBook Air models, with prices topping out at $1,299, and the new starting price of $1,599 for MacBook Pro models.
The Mac computer segment contributed $40.18 billion in revenue to Apple’s fiscal year 2022, accounting for approximately 11 percent of its total revenue. While this marked a 14 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, sales have slowed this year in line with the broader PC industry, which has experienced a post-pandemic decline in demand.
Apple also revealed that the new chips would be the first for laptops and desktops to use 3-nanometer manufacturing technology, offering improved performance for each watt of electricity used.
The chip manufacturer responsible for producing these new chips was not disclosed, but analysts speculate that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) may be involved, given its use of the same technology to produce chips for high-end iPhone 15 models.