M3 MacBooks could be coming this year, after chip shortage turnaround
Apple may have turned around the fortunes of its upcoming M3 line of chips after reportedly securing an entire year's worth of scarce 3nm silicon from TSMC.
It seems that Apple managed to secure TSMC’s entire stock of 3nm chips for a full year, according to Wccftech, who reports that these 3nm chipsets “will be found in various devices, starting with the A17 Bionic for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, followed by the M3.” Apple M3 chip production will cover the entire M3 lineup, including the M3 Pro, M3 Max, and M3 Ultra chips for high-end Mac devices and Mac Studio and Mac Pro models.
Earlier rumors stated that Apple had roughly 90% of TSMC's 3nm capacity locked down, which still provided some space for competitors to secure the remaining supply, but it looks like the competition will have to wait. Not to mention that the tech giant won’t have to pay for defective wafers, which could save it billions of dollars.
TSMC has a few versions of its 3nm technology, with Apple getting the N3B batch while other companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek will most likely pick up N3E. Meaning that while Apple may have a time advantage over its competitors, it could lose that just as easily.
M3 MacBook could be coming, but should it?
If this rumor proves to be true, Apple could be putting out M3 MacBooks as early as the end of 2023 or early 2024. Most of the world is still getting over from the global chip shortage, with AMD’s new Z1-series processors being delayed due to manufacturing struggles, and Intel reportedly canceling two new projects with TSMC.
Of course, Apple managing to acquire a year’s worth of 3nm shipments is only one piece of the puzzle. Computing sales as a whole are in decline due to the global economic downturn as well as worker shortages, and Apple is one of many tech manufacturers that have been struggling in this current market trend.
So while this rumor could end up being great news for Apple, it could also lead to M3-based iPhones and Mac products not selling well in the future, especially considering how many devices the company has pushed out in the past couple of years. I, for one, hope that anything equipped with an M3 chip comes out in late 2024, for the sake of breathing spaces alone.