More AI, more sales: The M4 chip is intended to increase Mac sales

Apple has not yet updated all of its Mac models to the M3 chip and its Pro, Max and Ultra versions. But it's still worth taking a look at the M4 that follows. After all, Apple should slowly be able to implement the annual rhythm for chip renewal, similar to the iPhone. The first Mac models with M2024 could come onto the market at the end of 4. The special thing about it: a revised architecture that makes it possible to run AI models natively on the device. In addition, no Mac will be left out of the chip family this time.

Apple is said to be planning an M4 update for all Mac models. The new chip should also be specifically designed for local AI use. Details and a possible schedule for the release of new Macs can be found here.
Apple is said to be planning an M4 update for all Mac models. The new chip should also be specifically designed for local AI use. Details and a possible schedule for the release of new Macs can be found here.

The timetable: This is how the M4 Mac release should work

Since the first use of “Apple Silicon” in the form of the M1 chip in 2020, we have been able to observe an interesting development. Because e.g. B. the Mac Pro was excluded from the first chip generation and was only renewed with the M2 chip family. The iMac, on the other hand, came onto the market as an M1 model, but only received an upgrade with the M3. An M3 Ultra for the Mac Pro is currently said to be used internally, but officially Apple could skip it in favor of the M4 Ultra.

Because of new features, especially with regard to the local use of large AI models, all Mac models should be equipped with M4 versions. According to insider information, the update period will last from the end of 2024 to the second half of 2025. The most likely approach seems to be the following (which is based primarily on previous publications, but can of course change completely):

  • End of 2024: 14 inches MacBook Pro with M4
  • End of 2024: 24 inches iMac with M4
  • End of 2024 / beginning of 2025: 14 inches and 16 inches MacBook Pro with M4 Pro / M4 Max
  • End of 2024 / beginning of 2025: Mac mini with M4 / M4 Pro
  • Spring 2025: 13 inches and 15 inches MacBook Air with M4
  • Mid-2025: MacStudio with M4 Max / M4 Ultra
  • Second half of 2025: Mac Pro with M4 Ultra

Source: Bloomberg

Will the M4 be able to increase Mac sales?

Generative AI already exists in areas such as image generation, text creation, text or voice-based interaction, video generation, data manipulation, and so on. The individual models and tools are constantly being further developed. It's a hype that's yet to die down. A version of Apple Silicon that is specifically designed for the local use of AI models could help Apple achieve better Mac sales.

The fact that complex and computationally intensive AI models could be used without the need for an internet connection, and in a comparatively energy-efficient manner, would definitely be a selling point. But it remains to be seen whether enough people follow the hype or actually see long-term use cases for tools with generative AI in their Mac use. In the end, how Apple markets the M4 Macs and their AI compatibilities will probably play a big role.

First glimpse at WWDC in June 2024?

If the upcoming versions of Apple Silicon have more general computing power, a stronger Neural Engine and / or a completely new area for AI matters, this would already be evident in macOS 15. Or at least announce it. There is a first preview of macOS 15 already on June 10, 2024, at the opening of WWDC24.

Whether Apple leaves it with hints, hints, partial announcements or the like or whether the M4 is presented directly (like the M1 during the WWDC20 keynote), that remains to be seen. In any case, we can look forward to interesting innovations in macOS 15. What do you expect? Feel free to leave a comment on the topic!

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12 comments on “More AI, more sales: The M4 chip should increase Mac sales”

    1. Hello Timewalkers,

      I can imagine this will be a noticeable upgrade.

      I'm also curious to see when Apple will be able to sell me a new MacBook Pro. Currently I'm using one with M1 Pro.

      Best regards
      John

  1. Hi John,

    If Apple manages to implement some good AI features based on the M4, buying a MacBook Pro will probably also be interesting. We'll have to wait and see what Apple comes up with.

    With kind regards,
    Udo

  2. There's still a 2018 mini working here. I actually wanted to buy the next processor generation (M4). I think I'll just wait and see. If AI expansions of the processors come with the M4, these will certainly be significantly optimized again in the next one (M5?). If it is produced in 2 or 1,4 nm, there will probably be a decent boost in performance and the usual initial difficulties that I expect with AI will hopefully be partially cured.
    The old game. Either I get annoyed at some point with the existing hardware (which I can change quickly if necessary) or because I bought the new one too early.
    If MacOS 15 actually runs smoothly on the Intel box, I don't see any reason to make a decision at short notice.
    I’m already excited about the AI ​​development. There will probably be the first restrictions with the current hardware.
    But if I wait, Apple still has time to improve its AI strategy/development before they disappoint me ;-)

    1. Hello Wolfram! Yes, I agree with you to a certain extent. But I bought the M1 generation of Apple Silicon processors and I was very excited and not disappointed. They got straight to the point with the first generation. I think that could happen with the AI ​​stuff too. I think they've been working on the processors for so long that not much will go wrong. And I always enjoy it when I have the new technology early on. So if the AI ​​stuff requires an M4 (which would be a great selling point), then I'll get one. Otherwise, my M1 runs so well that I don't really need anything new.

      1. Hi Jens,
        Thank you for describing your experiences and explaining the decision (also to TIMEWALKER).
        I also assume that Apple has everything under control when it comes to hardware and that the M4 can be bought without hesitation.
        The AI ​​integration (supposed to run locally) is almost completely new territory (Siri has nothing to do with AI for me). This is where Apple will have the next big construction site. Many adjustments/changes will be necessary. They will survive MacOS15 and will only slowly become smaller when they are 16 or 17.
        But you're both right. The time of purchase is always wrong.
        Much, perhaps even everything, that comes with the AI ​​label in the future will require M processors. Whatever number is behind the M.
        I'm now waiting until spring 2025. Even if my M4 “want to have factor” has become even higher thanks to the description of your experiences.

        1. Stand firm Wolfram! We'll definitely get weak and then tell you what's not going as it should. 😂 We basically sacrifice ourselves for you. That's how we are... 😂

    2. MacBook Air with M4 would be an attractive proposition. I still use the Mini Late 2018, but with the fastest processor and 64 gig RAM.

  3. Hello Wolfram,
    I have to agree with Jens. I also have an M1 in a Mac mini. The part works great. However, I'm looking at the M4. Overall, unfortunately, every time is the wrong time to buy something new. The subsequent processor will usually always have performance characteristics that are better than what you currently have. Seen this way, there is no ideal time to buy. From my point of view, I would never buy the previous CPU model, but always the current CPU. As the saying goes: I'm hot as chips for the M4. 🤣

    1. I think that's the lot of technology lovers: you always have to wait because something better comes along. But sometimes you just have to be unreasonable and dare. 😊 So let's see what Apple shows us at WWDC... we should get a foretaste.

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