Apple is set to capitalise on a computer market resurgence when the company unveils two new Macs and processors on Monday.
The company will hold an online event at 5pm California time (Tuesday, 2am SAST) — dubbed “Scary Fast” — where it’s poised to announce a new iMac and updates to its high-end MacBook Pro. Apple also is slated to unveil the next generation of its computer chip, the M3.
The new models stand to benefit from a broader upswing in the computer business. After a decline this year, industrywide shipments are expected to grow again in 2024 — even if they stay below pandemic highs. Sales of Macs and other computing devices had surged during Covid lockdowns, when consumers spent heavily on home office equipment.
Mac sales are forecast to climb about 5% in the holiday quarter, with the revenue growing 5.5% in the fiscal year that just started, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Overall PC shipments are expected to climb nearly 4% in 2024, according to IDC. But competition is heating up as well.
Last week, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon Elite X, a PC chip it says outperforms Apple’s current M2 processor. Nvidia and AMD, meanwhile, are working on new processors that rely on ARM Holdings designs — the same underlying technology used by Apple and Qualcomm.
Intel, Apple’s former processor supplier, is staging its own comeback. The chip maker gave a surprisingly upbeat forecast for the holiday quarter, sending its shares soaring on Friday.
Apple swapped out the Intel chips in its computers with in-house designs over the past three years. And Monday’s event will give it another chance to show that its homegrown chips are better than rival offerings.
While the iMac and the MacBook Pro are two of Apple’s lower-volume models, they’re prized by the company’s most ardent and vocal fans. And they’ll spotlight the power of Apple’s new M3 line, which is slated to be faster than the M2 and better at handling graphics.
After it launches the first two M3 Macs, Apple will look to keep the momentum going next year. The company is preparing new versions of the MacBook Air and low-end MacBook Pro with M3 processors for 2024. Those models are Apple’s two most popular Macs. The company is also working on updates to the Mac mini and Mac Studio. — (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP