Lightness strikes again! Apple Inc on Tuesday is rolling out new MacBooks powered by its faster M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in a surprise launch weeks ahead of its usual schedule.
The announcement of the devices using Apple's latest versions of the M2 chip, which debuted last year, is an outgrowth of the tech giant's decision in 2020 to use semiconductors designed in-house after 15 years of relying on Intel's technology.
Globally, the new Mac mini starts at $599 and will be available from Jan. 24. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with the latest chips start at $1,999, compared with the $1,299 price tag for a 13-inch model fitted with the M2 chip.
Fans have been anticipating the new MacBook Pro models for months, but supply-chain issues meant the launch was delayed from last year to early 2023, Bloomberg News reported in October.
"This is all connected to the delayed chipset transition ... With it being delayed, Apple has been faced with the questions to wait for the traditional, expected launch or actually do something a bit unexpected," said Canalys analyst Runar Bjørhovde.
He also added that the announcement could generate some hype at a time when the broader personal computer market is in a slump, "This is a great way of throwing things around and surprising the consumers and competitors."
After the rollout this week, shares of Apple increased about 1%, outperforming a broadly weaker market. It was still recovering from the stock loss of about 27% in 2022, Apple’s biggest fall since the 2008 financial crisis.
Apple said the new M2 Pro has nearly 20% more transistors than the M1 Pro and double the amount in M2, helping programs like Adobe Photoshop run heavy workloads "faster than ever," perfect for creatives, gamers and digital creators.