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Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year.

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We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things are going with the iPhone 15 Pro now that it's halfway through its flagship lifecycle, so read on below for all the details on these stories and more!

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Apple plans to release its first Macs with the M4 series of chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

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The report says that the MacBook Pro and iMac lines will be the first to be updated with the M4 series of chips later this year, while other models like the MacBook Air, Mac mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro are expected to be updated with M4 series chips throughout 2025.

Gurman said the chips are "designed to highlight artificial intelligence" capabilities on the Mac.

New iPads Likely to Launch During Second Week of May

In the latest edition of his newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said new iPad Pro and iPad Air models will likely launch during the second week of May, following reported manufacturing delays.

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He also said Apple is working on new iPad mini and entry-level iPad models, but he does not expect those devices to launch until later this year.

It has been nearly 18 months since Apple last released new iPads.

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long-term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features.

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If you're an ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ owner, let us know how your battery life is holding up, whether you're regularly using the Action button, and anything else you've found interesting about your experience with Apple's latest high-end flagship phone!

Here Are All the Rumored iPhone 16 Colors

We recently recapped all rumored color options for the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max, so be sure to check out the list to learn about the new options expected.

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At least two new color options are rumored for the lower-end iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models, including Purple and White, while the Pro models could gain new Space Black and Rose Gold titanium finishes.

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

One of the new generative AI features rumored to be coming to the iPhone with iOS 18 could be a browsing assistant in Safari, according to backend code discovered on Apple's servers.

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While no specific details about the browsing assistant are known, the feature could allow Safari to better compete with other AI-infused web browsers available on the iPhone, such as Microsoft Edge and Arc Search.

The MacRumors Show: Apple Shortcuts and iOS 18 ft. Matthew Cassinelli

Matthew Cassinelli, one of the minds behind Workflow, joined Dan and Hartley on this week's episode of The MacRumors Show to talk Apple Shortcuts and potential improvements and AI features coming to the app in iOS 18.

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Last week's episode included discussion of Apple's potential foray into robots, along with discoveries made in the iOS 17.5 beta, rumors about a new Apple Pencil, and more.

Subscribe to The MacRumors Show channel on YouTube, and listen to the podcast in Apple Podcasts or your preferred podcast app.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Article Link: Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More
 
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Populus

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2012
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Okay, I’m pretty hyped about the upcoming Apple Silicon gen, A18, M4, M4 Pro.. we’ll see if this finally means that definite Neural Engine bump that allows most of the upcoming AI feature to run smoothly and natively.

My fear is for them to leave a more substantial Neural Engine core bump for the A19/M5 or whatever SoC comes with the 2nm process node. But that would leave all the new AI features coming in iOS 18 and 19 “silicon orphan”, so they should put the focus on Machine Learning for the next gen of chips.

I suspect we won’t have 2nm silicon until 2026, that’s the A20/M6 gen, with 2025 chips being based on N3P, so that would make the upcoming silicon gen A18/M4 to be a good moment to jump into a new device.
 

Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
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The report says that the MacBook Pro and iMac lines will be the first to be updated with the M4 series of chips later this year, while other models like the MacBook Air, Mac mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro are expected to be updated with M4 series chips throughout 2025.
I wonder how reality based this information really is? Seems like a lot of it is just presuming everything will occur similar to how the M3 updates will supposedly occur which still hasn’t happened. Yeah rumors derived from rumors. :eek:
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2015
2,146
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So, after years of seemingly being treated like a forgotten child the iMac could be one of the first Macs to get M4.

Interesting.
This thing about forgotten products keeps on coming up.

They never forget, and its not about not being interested in or showing love for certain devices.

The best product a company can sell, is one that doesn't need a regular refresh, that does what it was made to do and reliable. Whose production becomes cheaper and cheaper and hence creates more profit.

These are the devices that the company does like, a lot.
 

bkendig

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2019
49
88
Apple updates all of their phones every year with the latest CPU. I'm disappointed they can't do this with the rest of their product line, and that we're left wondering whether a given model will be updated next month or more than a year away. I thought that moving away from Intel and using their own CPUs would have let them update more often.

I'd like to update from my Intel Mac mini, and I've priced out the replacement at close to $2K. I don't want to buy an M2 Pro when there might be an M3 soon or a much more powerful M4 a year from now, so I'm holding on to my money for now.
 

ApplesAreSweet&Sour

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2018
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Apple updates all of their phones every year with the latest CPU. I'm disappointed they can't do this with the rest of their product line, and that we're left wondering whether a given model will be updated next month or more than a year away. I thought that moving away from Intel and using their own CPUs would have let them update more often.

I'd like to update from my Intel Mac mini, and I've priced out the replacement at close to $2K. I don't want to buy an M2 Pro when there might be an M3 soon or a much more powerful M4 a year from now, so I'm holding on to my money for now.
Apple could update every device at the same rate, once annually.

But that wouldn't lead to optimal sales and least possible losses:

iPhone by far outsells and generates higher profit margins than any other Apple Silicon powered product.

So every new chip generation, Apple leads with iPhone to make sure that there's more than plenty of the latest SoC to meet iPhone demand.

The rest of Macs and iPads then get the latest chip generation in descending order of popularity.

This is why products like MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and MacBook Air are almost (or entirely) on annual release schedules, like iPhone. But the remaining iPads and Macs usually see less frequent than annual releases.

Of course, Apple will adjust this dynamically if specific models increase in popularity, and vice-versa.

But Apple would face tremendous losses and potentially struggle to meet initial iPhone demand if every Apple Silicon phone/tablet/computer jumped to the latest chip on the same date, or even just within the same year.

For Apple, it's always, above all other device, all about the next and current iPhone.
 

randian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2014
791
366
Still no M3 Mini, so they're skipping it and going straight to M4 with an additional year delay? I really wanted a new Mini this year, very disappointing.
 
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Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
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This is why products like MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and MacBook Air are almost (or entirely) on annual release schedules, like iPhone. But the remaining iPads and Macs usually see less frequent than annual releases.
Of course, Apple will adjust this dynamically if specific models increase in popularity, and vice-versa.
By never coming out with updates for so called less popular Macs as an example they are only damaging the respective models popularity? How can they possibly gain in popularity?

Take the M2 Mac Mini for example why is that being held up from getting a M3 and M3 Pro?
Why was the M3 the only replacement for a M1 24" iMac that still can't drive two displays?
Why is the Studio Mac tethered to a M2 Max and M2 Ultra to be updated at the same time?

So many of these decisions are negatively impacting Mac sales.

Then we have the messed up iPad marketing, let's drop a new SoC and then make it sound like you can do more things without any iPadOS improvements?

There is course the chance that WWDC introduces some significant OS/app features that attract users to iPad and Mac models, but this will continue to be specific models receiving more attention then others and the cycle continues. Apple should be marketing lines that need more noticing or repricing the devices so they sell better IMHO.
 
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DavidSchaub

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2016
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By never coming out with updates for so called less popular Macs as an example they are only damaging the respective models popularity? How can they possibly gain in popularity?
...
So many of these decisions are negatively impacting Mac sales.
Because the vast majority of Mac buyers don't care if their SoC is one generation old; and given how powerful modern computers are for most activities, they're right not to care too much.
 

DavidSchaub

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2016
431
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The kicker here is SoC development cadence and product line release cadence (knowing Apple the two will not always align).

Before it seemed likely that the M* <null> base M chips would follow the A*X pattern (being a similar class chip) of an approximately 18 month cycle. It was less clear what cadence the Pro/Max SoC were, but Apple pushing for releasing Pro/Max chips faster means it may be just as fast. Apple's Move to make Pro and Max unique SoC designs is interesting, and we have no idea how that will play out for the Mac Studio and Mac Pro (see below).

As ApplesAreSweet&Sour described earlier, Apple has no good reason to always update all of its SoC / Products Lines every year.

Apple has always been willing to let "lower volume" or "less performance critical" products miss out on possible SoC generations. Apple did this when on Intel (people blamed Intel), and Apple continues to do this today.

As for branding, Apple tend not to play silly marketing games with the SoC branding numbering, but we'll see what happens with M4 / M3 Ultra rumours... there are too many options to even guess:

1) The M3 Max has Ultra Fusion, but it was removed from the images or not all M3 Max wafers have it (like M1 Pro was a "cut" Max).

2) Apple is making a different M* Max class chip optimized to be used in pairs, so 2 will be the M* Ultra.

3) Apple makes a big single-chip Ultra -- around >130 b transistors. It has Ultra Fusion and can give us an M* Quadra Mac Pro.

All might be possible; but, (3) sounds hard to fab, (2) doesn't feel worth the RoI, so I'll expect (1).
 
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Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
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Because the vast majority of Mac buyers don't care if their SoC is one generation old; and given how powerful modern computers are for most activities, they're right not to care too much.
At this moment in time a lot of potential sales are from consumers with older products, example Intel based Macs. That and also consumers being attracted to what Apple offers from other platforms/manufacturers. I never lumped AS Mac users as being motivated to upgrade to newer Macs like Apples markets iPhones. ;)
 

DavidSchaub

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2016
431
487
Why? Other computer companies refresh their computer lines every year, for every new Intel CPU update.
Because other computer companies don't have Apple's:
- larger margins,
- smaller market,
- apparent tendency to have high-level leadership visibility to products,
- need to keep everything super secret,
- desire to build boutique in-house designs, or
- hiring practices to only do the design work in a single office location.
 

krakenrelease

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2020
114
106
Apple updates all of their phones every year with the latest CPU. I'm disappointed they can't do this with the rest of their product line, and that we're left wondering whether a given model will be updated next month or more than a year away. I thought that moving away from Intel and using their own CPUs would have let them update more often.

I'd like to update from my Intel Mac mini, and I've priced out the replacement at close to $2K. I don't want to buy an M2 Pro when there might be an M3 soon or a much more powerful M4 a year from now, so I'm holding on to my money for now.
The reason is that iPhone market share is through the roof and probably the most sold device. Mac sales are still a paltry share of the PC industry.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,675
1,387
so much for the rumor that the Ultra might be first up this time around... i guess it's going to be next year. long wait.
 

DavidSchaub

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2016
431
487
so much for the rumor that the Ultra might be first up this time around... i guess it's going to be next year. long wait.
The Ultra being first seems like a pipe-dream, since all the key development focus will always be trickle up from the iPhone chips... which matter the most.

The fact that we might be getting the Pro/Max releases at the same time as the M <null> chips is a miracle in itself, and at most the Ultra/Quarda (if that happens) will come close to matching that.
 

Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
10,339
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Silicon Valley, CA
The reason is that iPhone market share is through the roof and probably the most sold device. Mac sales are still a paltry share of the PC industry.
Apple surpassed Samsung 12 years as industry leader briefly late 2023, but come April 2024 sales numbers they are #2 again to Samsung. But the concern I have for Apple is that one product like that dominates is an Achilles heel if consumer interest looks elsewhere. For the last decade the iPhone has helped with attracting customers to Apple products but it's not a guarantee in the long run. Apple needs to diversify to hedge their bets IMHO. Tablets and computers they could greatly boost with better tactics.

According to data from Counterpoint Research shared by The Korea Times, Samsung beat out Apple by a narrow margin to kick off 2024. The company shipped 19.69 million smartphones in the first quarter of the year, beating Apple’s 17.41 million. Samsung, according to the report, currently holds 20% of the global smartphone market, while Apple has dropped down to 18%.
 
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NewOldStock

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2023
92
55
The iMac, low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, high-end 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini machines will be updated with M4 chips first, followed by the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models in spring 2025, the Mac Studio in mid-2025, and the Mac Pro later in 2025.

Last report on here. Conflicts arise.
 
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