Apple M4 chip tipped to power next-gen AI-capable Macs, MacBooks, and iMacs

  • Apple could launch 3 variants of M4 with varying power ceilings.
  • Apple’s phased release of M4 machines could start from late 2024.
  • The M4 series of chips could be a lot more specced-up than the M3 series to power the upcoming Macs with on-device AI.

It’s been only six months since Apple introduced the M3 chips and computers powered by them and now a new report suggests the company has begun working on the M4 series. Apple’s M4 series is said to come in multiple variants and offer increased power to drive next-gen MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, and iMac models with AI capabilities. Here’s everything we know:

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Apple M4 variants (expected)

As per Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, Apple is gearing up for the M4 production. He says there will be 3 variants of the M4 SoC:

  • Donan: This will be the entry-grade processor powering MacBook Air models and base-level Mac Mini.
  • Brava: This is set to engine more powerful MacBook Pros and an iMac Mini model.
  • Hidra: Finally, this will be the flagship variant propelling something like a top-end Mac Pro. 

Now, let’s see when to expect Apple M4 computers:

Apple Macs, MacBooks, and iMacs release timeline (expected)

  • Fall 2024 – early 2025: Apple will stage this in a phased manner and the first batch of releases could happen later this year (from fall 2024) or perhaps early next year. The expected products in this phase are new iMacs, a base MacBook Pro 14-inch variant, a higher-end MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch, and might even refresh the Mac Mini.
  • Spring 2025 – mid-2025: The company could release 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air with M4 processors in Spring 2025. A few months later, around mid-2025, we could get an M4-powered Mac Studio.
  • Late 2025: Finally towards the end of 2025, we could get the premium Mac Pro with M4 Hidra chip. This is also believed to feature 512GB of unified memory.
Mac Pro
Mac Pro with M2 Ultra

Now, as mentioned before, all these machines could be aided by AI. The machine learning process could largely take place on the device itself. This would demand more processing power, which is why a potent processor like M4 and more memory makes sense. We should get more details about the company’s AI initiatives at WWDC 2024 set to take place in June. So, stay tuned!