Sunday, October 8, 2023

Apple releases New Macs, Which Week Is It Likely To Do So

Conflicting reports about whether Apple will release a new MacBook before the end of 2023 have created uncertainty about if I will be able to get one this year. I am hoping a new model does come out soon, as I have been waiting to upgrade my 2016 MacBook.

I had hoped to wait until my needs grow and my coding skills improve. However, if you know anything about the butterfly keyboard issue that has plagued years of MacBook releases, then you know what I am talking about. Apple even has a dedicated web page to deal with that. I think I have come to the end of the road with my MacBook's keyboard (down arrow is out of commission, the space bar works but it uneven, and the right shift eye is sticky, and the whole keyboard feeling shallow).

And yes, while I had previously stated that I would try to wait until my needs warrant an updated MacBook, six to seven years of dealing with the keyboard issue is enough. So, while there is a good chance Apple might skip this year's fall MacBook update, there is still a chance. At the end of the September iPhone 15 event, Apple CEO Tim Cook thanked the hard working Apple employees who made the iPhone possible, he did not indicate that Apple was done with new hardware for the year. In past years, he let the media and fans know Apple was done for the year. So I am going to assume that Apple will indeed release new MacBooks.

With October still in the early innings, Apple still has a lot of time to release new Mac hardware. Just when is Apple like to release them? For the fun of it, I'm more interested in which week of October or November will we be getting new Macs.

Before I get into it, here is an interesting fact: Apple did not release any new Macs in the fall of 2022. The last time was week of October 18, 2021. Here are the breakdown of the M-series laptop release dates:
  • Macbook Air M1 - week of November 9th, 2020
  • Macbook Air M2 13.6" - week of June 6th, 2022
  • Macbook Air M2 15" - week of June 5th, 2023
  • Macbook Pro M1 Pro/Max - week of October 18th, 2021
  • Macbook Pro M2 Pro/Max - week of January 16th, 2023
As you can see, Apple does not follow any sort of pattern. However, it does seem like Apple will do releases around the middle October to early November.

Starting the week of October 9th, almost a month since Apple unveiled the iPhone 15, I like to think that if Apple is holding a press event, Apple would send out the invitation this week for an unveiling the week after, October 16th. Following Apple's previous release patterns, it would mean that preorder could happen the same week and new hardware starting shipping the week of October 23rd and starting arriving on the 27th, Friday. 

If everything is pushed by a week from the 16th, you just push all those previously mentioned dates back by a week. And if Apple makes their release two weeks from the 16th, then everything is pushed back by two weeks. Makes sense right? An October 30th release means November 10th arrival dates for a lot of the new Macs. 
  • October 16th release. Ordering starts Friday of October 20th, shipping on the 23rd and arriving on the 27th
  • October 23rd release. Ordering starts Friday of October 27th, shipping on the 30th and arriving on November 3rd. 
  • October 30th release. Ordering starts Friday of November 3rd, shipping on the 6th, and arriving on November 10th.

I think this is the ideal window for Apple. That leaves plenty of time for the Holidays to ramp up sales. Of course, Apple has done November releases a few times and really push things up against Black Friday. 

The argument for a likely November release of new Macs came from a rumor that Apple could be using new screen technology in new MacBook Pro. I am not sure how that would work. What are we talking about here - better M2 Pro/Max chips than the ones already released or M3 Pro/Max chips? If it is new M3 chips, that means Apple will have leased the MacBook Pro with newer chips before the MacBook Air, a first since Apple moved to its own silicon. 

We are only a day away. If nothing happens this week, we can eagerly await each of the coming Mondays through the beginning of November at the latest to see what Apple has in store for us. I'm strictly talking about MacBooks here but Apple could still do hardware releases in the form new iMacs or even just iPads. I simply do not think Apple is done with 2023 yet.

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