Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Youtube viewer Mark Graph asked me…

#icaveanswers – what do you make of the latest M2 pro/max video from Max Tech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AnLVFt7mvA

Well, I’m not convinced by a few aspects of Max Tech’s video -so lets talk about that!

I think we will be having M2 Pro and M2 Max based on 5nm, and I think they’ll be out before the end of 2022, not in 2023.

I’ve said from day one that Apple will do a 12 month update cycle for Apple Silicon, at least once the transition is completed (and now it is, M2 for me is the indicator that we’ve transitioned.).

Why does this make sense? Because Apple silicon is based off the same cores their engineering team designs every single year for the iPhone. Johny Souruji couldn’t have emphasised more how Apple Silicon is designed to be a scalable architecture, because it uses the iPhone’s A series Performance, Efficiency and Graphics cores. The big difference is how many you get of each, with an iPhone 12 and it’s relatively tiny battery getting A14 with 4 efficiency and 2 performance cores, the M1 doubled the performance cores up to 4, and also doubled GPU Cores from 4 to 8.

M2 takes the A15 chip, with 5 GPU Cores and doubles it to 10, while upgrading the CPU cores to the A15 generation’s Avalanche and Blizzard cores.

Apple is designing these CPU and GPU Cores on an annual basis for the iPhone. Why on earth would they decide on an 18 month cycle for M series chips? That means you’d get one year when the cores are nice and fresh alongside the iPhone, the next year they’d be 6 months out of date already and the following year they’d have to skip a generation to get back to sync. Then there’d be massive (comparatively) leaps every 2 years and people would learn which generations to skip – it would be like the S years for iPhones.

Also, it makes perfect sense for Apple to build an annual cadence for updates to the Mac just like they do with INCREDIBLE success on the iPhone, Apple Watch and base iPad (and most likely, all the iPads soon I’d guess).

Knowing that the new M chip will be released at WWDC each year would be a boon for Apple and boost Back to School sales as the vast majority of students need a reasonably affordable laptop and don’t need pro level tools for that. Perfect timing.

Knowing that the MacBook Pro with Pro and Max chips are coming in the fall also makes sense, and once we have our new designed Mac mini – that can get it’s M chip in June along with the iMac too. Then an M2 Pro or M3 Pro etc in Fall.

Want a Mac Studio with an Ultra Chip? That will be the spring event, around the end of the tax year when bigger businesses and studios either need a tax write off, to use up the last of the years’s budget, or not long to wait for the next year’s budget allocation to arrive. That could also be the Mac Pro’s spot too.

Having that clear, annual cadence makes sense, it calms investor worries because they love predictability of cash flow. In the past Apple was constrained by waiting on Intel and AMD chip releases to update their machines, and they still managed to average 350 days between updates on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models in general. It seems bonkers to me that they would move to their own silicon where they have full end to end control and slow down their releases.

Waiting for 3nm for M2 Pro and Max? I’d love if they could, but I don’t think they will, even if Vadim at Max Tech is convinced. The whole video seems to hinge on his theory of the 18 month refresh cycle and I think that’s a flawed premise. I think we’ve seen delays in the initial release because of the other new tech, primarily MiniLED display panel yields. October for the new MacBook Pros makes sense for me, and as its a simple chip update, they’d need as much attention as the 13” MacBook Pro got at WWDC. Mac mini with its design refresh if it happens, along with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will be star of the show, with iPad Pro M2 likely to make an appearance too.

September can have the consumer stuff like iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8 (please let it have flat sides) and the consumer iPads, Base, and mini. The A-Chip ones. Air will get M2 next spring. Its all falling into place.