Apple Scary Fast event: New MacBook Pro, iMac and M3 chips launched

In the UAE, 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 chip starts at Dh6,899

People stand outside an Apple Store in Shanghai. The company is manufacturing its own silicon to reduce its dependence on other suppliers and reduce supply chain friction. Reuters
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Apple unveiled a host of products, including a new iMac and the latest line-up of the MacBook Pro at its live-streamed Scary Fast event in the US on Monday.

“We’ve got something special for you tonight. No tricks, just treats,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, before the event.

The National looks at the major announcements made during the pre-recorded presentation.

New family of chips to bolster position in semiconductors

Apple released its first in-house M1 chips in November 2020 to reduce its reliance on other chip makers such as Intel. It launched its latest line-up of chips on Monday.

It announced the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips featuring technology that aims to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

“M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max are the most advanced chips ever built for a personal computer,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technology.

“Apple silicon has completely redefined the Mac experience. Every aspect of its architecture is designed for performance and power efficiency.”

Each chip in the M3 features a unified memory architecture. Having a single pool of memory within a custom package means all of the technology in the chip can gain access to the same data without copying it between several pools of memory.

It reduces the amount of memory a system requires for the majority of tasks.

Apple’s first in-house M1 chip was followed by the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in October 2021. In March and June last year, Apple unveiled the M1 Ultra and M2 chips. In June this year, it launched the M2 Ultra chip.

The revenue of the global semiconductor market, which was upended by coronavirus-induced supply chain problems over the past few years, is expected to drop 3.6 per cent in 2023 on poor consumer demand and a weakening world economy, a report has found.

Semiconductor revenue is forecast to reach $596 billion in 2023, down from the previous prediction of $623 billion, US research company Gartner said.

Semiconductors are vital in electronic devices, particularly in electric and self-driving vehicles.

New iMac

The iPhone maker announced the new 24-inch iMac that comes with the latest M3 chip. It is about two times faster than the previous generation with the M1 chip.

It comes with a better display quality with 11.3 million pixels and more than a billion colours, faster wireless connectivity and a seamless connectivity experience with iPhone and other Apple devices, the company said.

“We are excited to give iMac a big boost in performance with the M3 chip,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering.

“The new iMac with M3 is incredible for anyone, especially those who have not yet upgraded from Intel, providing a giant leap in performance and capabilities.”

Apple said customers can place online pre-orders for the new iMac from October 30, with deliveries expected to start from November 7.

The iMac with 8-core graphics processing unit nd 10-core GPU will start at $1,299 and $1,499, respectively.

Latest MacBook Pro line-up

The company also announced a new MacBook Pro line-up featuring M3 chips.

The new 14‑inch MacBook Pro with M3 chip offers “phenomenal sustained performance” in pro apps and games.

The 14-inch and 16‑inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro chip provides better performance and additional unified memory support to enable more demanding workflows for users.

Both MacBook Pro models with M3 Max can handle multitasking across pro apps for users such as machine learning programmers, 3D artists and video editors.

The latest MacBook Pro series “empowers users to do their life’s best work”, Mr Ternus said.

Starting at $1,599, the new MacBook Pro is available for online order from October 30. Customers will begin to take delivery from November 7, the same time it will be available in Apple's physical stores.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 chip starts at Dh6,899 ($1,878) and Dh6,499 for students and pupils; the 14‑inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Pro starts at Dh8,499 while the education price is Dh7,899; and the 16‑inch MacBook Pro starts at Dh10,499 and Dh9,699 for students and pupils.

Entire event shot on iPhone

At the end of the presentation, a message was displayed on the screen, indicating that the event had been filmed with an iPhone and edited on a Mac. There was a disclaimer stating that all presenters, locations, and drone footage were captured using an iPhone 15 Pro Max.

While Apple has consistently touted the iPhone's camera as capable of capturing “Hollywood-quality” footage, it marked the first occasion where an entire Apple event has been filmed exclusively using an iPhone.

Updated: October 31, 2023, 5:35 AM