Apple is at this weird place when it comes to its Mac lineup. We’re now more than 6 months removed from the company completing its transition to Apple Silicon. While the initial M1 Macs made a huge splash in the market, M2 Macs didn’t really move the needle sales-wise. (Not even the bigger 15-inch MacBook Air helped in that aspect.) The company recently launched new MacBook Pro models featuring its new M3 family of chips during its Scary Fast event. While those still stuck with Intel Macs will see a big leap in performance, I’m not sure those who jumped in back in 2020 will even care to upgrade. I’m starting to think that Apple Silicon is getting boring, but in a good way. Here’s why.
We Won’t See That “Big Performance Leap” Anytime Soon
Remember when Apple introduced the M1 chip back in 2020? The company basically touted performance improvements such as up to 3.5x faster CPU performance and up to 6x faster GPU performance! While Apple really stuck with their guns in terms of design, it wasn’t pleased with the processors Intel put out.
As soon as reviews of the first M1 Macs got out, the positive response from reviewers were through the roof! Despite the initial hiccups in terms of the app situation, Apple delivered (and even exceeded) on the promise of the performance and power efficiency.
Almost three years into the Apple Silicon era, and we now have the M3 family of chips. Consisting of the regular M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max, these chips were made using the newest 3 nanometer process from TSMC. Unfortunately for those who expected more from these chips, their performance was mostly compared to the M1 family. (The M2 family was shown in the charts, but with more modest improvements.)
The fact that we got that situation tells me three things:
- The M2 family of chips feels like a stopgap solution while Apple was still dealing with what would become the M3 family of chips
- All the hype surrounding Apple’s chip efforts is slightly tamed;
- However, competing chip makers like Qualcomm have yet to prove themselves in real-world use
Apple might still be in the lead here, but recent sales of M2 Macs plus the state of the competition could make 2024 a really interesting year for the Mac.
Are We Really Bored of Apple Silicon?
Honestly speaking, I am bored of the fact that Apple’s own chips are amazing. I feel like we now expect something more from the Mac since the M1 chip basically blew us away. Depending on what happens next, Apple could end up being the old guard while competitors soak in all the love that ARM chips bring.
Don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean I’m moving away from the Mac anytime soon. (Let’s see if my experience with the Zenbook S 13 OLED changes that.) What I’m saying here is that “Apple having its own chips for the Mac” is not amazing. In fact, we expect this to continue.
In 2020, Apple made a big deal about by unleashing its M1 chip into the world. Right now, the M3 family of chips themselves are starting to be less of a selling point. We might need to FINALLY bring a touch screen to the Mac! (Probably not.)
What do you think about all this? Is Apple Silicon’s luster starting to fade? Or has it already faded for you? Sound off in the comments!