Apple launched the current-generation MacBook Air in June 2022 with a new M2 SoC. It was expected that Apple would launch M2 Pro and M2 Max equipped 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros during Fall 2022. Unfortunately, the refresh never came, and MacBook Pros continue to be sold with M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs
DigiTimes is now reporting that the M2 Pro/M2 Max MacBook Pro refresh has been "delayed once again" and will no longer "hit the market in early 2023." The publication didn't provide guidance on when the launch will occur, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman stated over the weekend that the new laptops could arrive during the first half of 2023.
With this in mind, it's possible that Apple could announce the new MacBook Pros at WWDC 2023, which will likely occur in early June. Apple announced the M2-based MacBook Air at the same event last year.
Performance junkies will want to temper their expectations with the MacBook Pro refresh, as Gurman suggests that the M2 and M2 Max will only offer "marginal leaps" over their predecessors. In addition, Apple won't make any design changes to the new MacBook Pros, given that the current chassis has only been around since late 2021.
There is also speculation that overall MacBook sales could drop as much as 50 percent sequentially during Q1 2023. The first quarter is traditionally a slower period for PC OEMs, but DigiTimes alleges that Apple is "adjusting its shipment ratios" due to weaker Q4 demand. In addition, MacBook inventory levels are higher than Apple would like, hence its calls to Quanta and Foxconn to reduce shipments. Also compounding matters is that many Apple customers are waiting for the MacBook Pro refresh, which further erodes demand for existing inventory.
As we reported yesterday, global PC shipments plummeted by 28 percent during Q4 2022 compared to Q4 2021. IDC noted that "the pandemic boom is over for the PC market," while Canalys added, "rising costs for energy and basic goods in key markets like the US and Europe, expenditure on big-ticket items like PCs has taken a back seat as consumers are prepared to delay refreshes."
Despite the doom and gloom over declining PC sales during Q4 2022, Apple fared better than most in the industry. Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell experienced worldwide PC shipment declines of 28.5 percent, 29 percent and 37.2 percent year-over-year, according to IDC. Apple, on the other hand, experienced just a 2.1 percent drop. The company also gained global PC market share, rising from 8.2 percent in Q4 2021 to 11.2 percent in Q4 2022.