Apple unveils new laptops, iMac, trio of powerful chips with improvements


By Mark Gurman

Apple Inc. announced new a iMac, laptops and the third generation of its in-house Mac processor line on Monday, rolling out an M3 chip with major improvements to overall performance and graphics horsepower.


The new chip lineup relies on advanced 3-nanometer manufacturing technology and more efficiently handles graphics processing, Apple said in a presentation Monday. The base model has eight main cores — the processing engines on a chip — in addition to 10 cores for graphics. The announcement was part of a “Scary Fast”-branded product unveiling, an unusually timed event that kicked off at 5 p.m. California time.

New MacBook Pro models, also unveiled at the event, will run the new processors. That will make them more powerful while retaining their 22 hours of battery life, Apple said. Apple also debuted a version of its 24-inch all-in-one iMac that runs the M3. 

The company’s homegrown semiconductor business — known as Apple Silicon — has become a prized asset. Since switching to its own chips from Intel Corp. components in 2020, Apple has seen sales of its Mac computers grow sharply, helped by a broader run-up in tech spending during the pandemic.

But in recent quarters, revenue began to slide again and competition has intensified. The M3 launch is meant to help restore Apple’s advantage in the industry and get the Mac business back on track.

Mac sales are forecast to climb about 5% in the holiday quarter, with the revenue growing 5.5% in the fiscal year that began this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


The switch to the M3 marks the first time Apple — or any other high-volume computer manufacturer — has moved to the 3-nanometer technology. The 3-nanometer process squeezes in more transistors, getting more technology into a tighter space. Such chips are designed to amp up performance while still saving battery life.

The company also introduced two other tiers of the M3 — Pro and Max versions — that are aimed at higher-performance machines. The M3 Pro chip’s central processing unit has 12 cores, with 18 for graphics. And the M3 Max has 16 main cores and 40 graphics cores, making it 80% faster than the M1 chip from 2021.

Apple’s announcement follows other signs that the computer processor business is heating up. Intel, its former partner, gave an upbeat forecast last week that sent shares soaring. Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are working on new processors based on technology from Arm Holdings Plc. And Qualcomm Inc. unveiled a laptop processor last week that it touted as faster than Apple’s M2.


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