Here’s Apple’s M4 Mac Roadmap

MacBook Pro closeup on keyboard Credit: Moritz Kindler
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It seems Apple doesn’t plan to waste any time moving beyond the current M3 chip into its next generation of Apple silicon. Last week, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that the first M4-powered Macs could arrive this fall, and now he’s laid out a more detailed roadmap for exactly which models are getting the M4 treatment and when.

The list comes in Gurman’s Power On newsletter, and it looks like Apple will leave no Mac behind. Unsurprisingly, this year’s entries will begin with the MacBook Pro lineup, although contrary to last week’s initial report, they may not all show up at the same time.

Apple ushered in the M3 generation last fall during its whimsical October 31 Scary Fast event, where it unveiled a more harmonious MacBook Pro family featuring all three flavors of M3 chip along with an M3 upgrade for the somewhat neglected 24-inch iMac, which had skipped the M2 entirely.

However, the most significant aspect of those updates was the Apple silicon. The 24-inch iMac was otherwise identical to its M1 predecessor — it didn’t even get any new colors.

The M3 Pro and M3 Max-powered MacBooks were similarly pedestrian updates: faster and more powerful with new chips, but identical to the M2 Pro/Max versions that had arrived in January. The only big surprise — and it was a welcome one — was the elimination of the lineup’s red-headed stepchild, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, in favor of a 14-inch model with the base M3 chip.

It was an unusual event for Apple since there really wasn’t much to announce. Hence, it wasn’t all that surprising when the company quietly released its M3 MacBook Air models in early March without much fanfare.

As for the Mac mini, Mac Studio, and Mac Pro, it’s an open question whether these will ever see anything in the M3 family, as it sounds like Apple is already preparing to move into M4 territory.

The M4 Mac Lineup

According to Gurman, Apple’s M4 rollout will follow a similar pattern to its previous Apple silicon Macs, although some models may be more spaced out.

  1. The first Macs to get the base M4 chip will be the 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 24-inch iMac “around the end of 2024.”
  2. The M4 Pro and M4 Max chips may arrive slightly later, “between the end of 2024 and early 2025,” Gurman says. These will come first in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, plus a Mac mini with standard M4 and M4 Pro configurations.
  3. The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air will get the M4 chip “around spring 2025.”
  4. The Mac Studio will get “a high-end M4 chip” in mid-2025.
  5. Finally, the Mac Pro will arrive with an M4 Ultra chip in “the second half of 2025.”

The current M4 chip lineup exists under three codenames: Donan for the base M4, Brava for the M4 Pro/Max duo, and Hidra for the M4 Ultra.

As Gurman notes, this will be the first time Apple has all its Macs on a single generation of Apple silicon since the Mac Pro didn’t arrive until the M2 chip was out, and the iMac skipped the M2 entirely. Apple reportedly has an M3 Ultra being tested internally, but it’s unclear if it plans to release it. Still, even if we see an M3 Ultra Mac Studio in the next few weeks, the Mac mini will likely skip the M3 entirely.

Sadly, the one thing that’s missing from that list is a larger iMac or iMac Pro. Gurman’s reporting has been silent on that model lately, despite reporting last summer that a 32-inch iMac could arrive in late 2024. To be fair, sources at the time said only that Apple was “experimenting with iMacs with larger displays,” and late 2024 was considered the earliest such an iMac could arrive, so we weren’t exactly holding our breath — especially since Apple has been hinting for years that the larger iMac is dead. That doesn’t rule out Apple revisiting it someday, but it’s clearly no longer a priority for the company.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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