Apple released no new Macs in Q4 2022, the first in 22 years

The fourth quarter of 2022 is coming to an end, and Apple will not have released any new Macs in the past three months. There were rumors of successors to the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, or even a Mac Pro that missed the two-year transition to Apple Silicon, but nothing came of it. And seemingly nothing, it’s a (small) event: the last time Apple let the fourth quarter pass without abandoning the Mac was in… 2000!

As mentioned MacRumors, Apple used to systematically release at least one new Mac between October and December. On October 16, 2001, it was the first ” speed bump of the second generation iBook G3, the one that was all white plastic and came out in the spring of the same year. At the time it was pretty easy, it must be said, the manufacturer released at least two updates to its Macs every year and on November 6, 2002, this same model received a fifth version. On that day, Apple had also released the PowerBook G4, which reached 1 GHz for the first time, for example.

The second-generation iBook G3 had a decidedly more serious design that foreshadowed what Apple would keep until the 2010s (photo Carl Berkeley (CC BY-ND 2.0)).

At a time when the same Mac could receive up to three updates a year, we’re not too surprised that all quarters were well filled. Since then, the pace has largely settled down, with the end of the Intel era where we were entitled to one new version per year at best. Despite everything, Apple continued to favor the last quarter of the year to release at least one new Mac. Last year it was the two MacBook Pro M1s and in 2020 a festival with the first Apple Silicon machines. And at the very end of 2019, the long-awaited Mac Pro was released.

In 2022, however, nothing. No new Mac Pro, no minor MacBook Pro update, the fourth quarter passed without a new Mac to sink your teeth into. Apart from the vaguely interesting anecdote, but which you’ll probably have a hard time coming up with on Saturday night, it’s above all a reminder of the extraordinary situation in the entire industry. Apple is not spared the component shortages that have become part of the landscape, and it is likely that the manufacturer planned to release its new portable Macs within the last three months.

An explanation for the delay could also be found in the delay of TSMC, which has just launched 3 nm engraving for its chips. The Taiwanese foundry originally planned to launch this production last year, but it fell a good year behind schedule, which is rumored to have forced Apple to break its Apple M2 chip line in half. Base versions have remained at 5nm, while Pro/Max/Ultra models would benefit from 3nm engraving.

A MacBook Air M2 tested by a guest journalist at WWDC 2022 (Apple image).

While the first M2 Macs were presented last June at WWDC 2022, this choice to wait for TSMC’s 3 nm engraving probably delayed the release of the other models more than expected. Their launch should now wait until spring 2023, at best.

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