Apple Silicon Roadmap Based on 18-Month Upgrade Cycle, Claims Report

Apple plans to update its Apple silicon chips every 18 months, compared to the annual upgrade cycle of the iPhone and Apple Watch, according to a new report from the Taiwanese Commercial Times.

applesilicon
The report, which largely echoes previously reported information, said that industry sources have pointed towards an 18-month upgrade cycle for Apple silicon chips. With that, the report claims that the next generation of Apple silicon, M2, will launch in the second half of 2022 and is codenamed Staten, with "‌M2‌ Pro" and "‌M2‌ Max" chips expected to launch in the first half of 2023. A machine translation of the report reads:

According to sources in the supply chain industry, Apple Silicon will be updated every 18 months in the future. In the second half of 2022, Apple will first launch the M2 processor code-named Staten, and in the first half of 2023, it will launch the new M2X processor architecture code-named Rhodes, and release two processors such as M2 Pro and M2 Max according to the different graphics cores. Apple's M2 series processors all use the 4-nanometer process, and will be updated to the M3 series processors after an 18-month cycle. It is expected that they will be mass-produced using TSMC's 3-nanometer process.

Before Apple transitioned to Apple silicon, the company had to rely on Intel to innovate and produce new chips. Intel's timeline and ability to create new processors were factors in the timeline for new Mac computers. Now, however, with Apple owning the entire vertical stack of the Mac, it's able to update and upgrade its computers and chips as often as it deems necessary. Even with that added freedom, customers typically don't upgrade their Macs as often as their ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch, so a less often upgrade cycle is logical.

Apple announced M1, the first Apple silicon chip, in November of 2020, and expanded the ‌M1‌ family with the M1 Pro and M1 Max less than a year later in October of this year. A similar scenario is expected for 2022, with ‌M2‌ launching first, and ‌M2‌ Pro and ‌M2‌ Max launching in the first half of 2023, according to today's report.

With the end of the year creeping upon us, we won't have to wait long for Apple's next generation of Macs. Rumors have suggested that a new 27-inch iMac with mini-LED, a new design, and ProMotion support will launch in the spring of 2022, with a new redesigned MacBook Air expected in the second half of the year.

Update: This article was updated to correct an error about the source, which is Taiwanese, not Chinese as was previously stated. We apologize for the mistake.

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Top Rated Comments

Total Respray Avatar
32 months ago
Maybe Apple (and its customers) would benefit from 18 month MacOS and iOS upgrade cycles too.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omenatarhuri Avatar
32 months ago

18 month for a new generation of chip huh. Not quite yearly as crazy as A-series chip but still seems to be quite aggressive. Upgrading Mac every 18 month seems a bit much, especially for those going for $6000 maxed out options.

With that being said though, how much of that performance gain could be for each generation?
You don't always have to have the newest one.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wanted797 Avatar
32 months ago

You don't always have to have the newest one.
Oh what? Macrumors members had me thinking I had to bin my iPhone 12 in September and the moment a mac becomes vintage it immediately stops working.

Are you telling me this isn’t true?!?!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
32 months ago

M3 Max MBP is what I am waiting for. Hopefully with HDMI 2.1a for 8k@60Hz. And hopefully a 40-43" 8K display.
Not that I recommend people should wait. But having an i9 16" MBP with 64GB it makes little sense (for me) to upgrade sooner.
You want a MacBook Pro with a 43” screen?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DMG35 Avatar
32 months ago
That makes sense. A 12 month cycle would be nice but also nearly impossible to show any type of dramatic improvement in that timeframe. The iPhone and iPads are hard enough now to differentiate between years because the chips are so good.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
constructor Avatar
32 months ago
18 months look a bit dubious to me because that would mean that in a three-year cycle they would alternate between launching new M chips coinciding with the new iPhones and then in the off-season the next time.

That would cause a production bottleneck every 3 years. Why would they do something like that?

This looks like garbled information. It would seem more plausible to me if they ran a 2-year upgrade cycle, offset from the iPhone SoC upgrade cycle by 6 Months or something like that, but still keeping the product lines synchronized that way.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)