Apple is set to host its second product event of the season, a month after introducing its new iPhone 15 lineup.
The event, which is online-only, will kick off on Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT, an unusually late start-time for Apple keynotes. Some analysts said the decision to hold an evening event may underline the fact that this likely won’t be one of Apple’s bigger announcements of the year.
The event’s tagline — “scary fast” — is an apparent nod to the likely unveiling of its next-generation silicon chip, M3, as well as Halloween. The company is expected to show off new iMac computers boasting the new powerful chipset in a move that should also boost Mac sales. Mac sales have been down this year amid weaker demand, excess inventory and a worsening macroeconomic climate.
Over the past several years, the progression of Apple Silicon — the company’s custom-made silicon chip — has emerged as a significant storyline for Apple, culminating in the transition away from Intel chips. Apple could further enhance performance with the M3 chip at a time when it’s gaining substantial ground in the traditional PC and laptop market.
“It is a huge endorsement of the massive investments Apple has made in this area,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight.
Apple Silicon has turned heads over the years and the overall performance in terms of processing, thermal efficiency and battery life is “extremely impressive,” Wood said. “There is no question that the company is quietly taking share from rival laptop makers.”
In the second quarter of 2023, Apple computers made up about 8% global marketshare but saw 10% year-over-year growth, according to data from IDC Research.
Apple launched its first in-house M1 silicon chipset for its computer lineup in 2020, shifting away from years of using a one-size-fits-all option from Intel. At the time, Apple claimed it was the world’s fastest CPU core and fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer. Last year, Apple brought its M2 chip to its MacBook line.
This year, the company is expected to bring its M3 chip to a 24-inch iMac and perhaps some MacBook Pro models in various sizes. It’s unclear if any of the newer computers will be available ahead of the holiday shopping season.
“Despite the upgrades to its M chips offering incrementally better performance, it is nothing compared to the difference when Apple switched from Intel chips to its own silicon,” said David McQueen, a director at ABI Research. “We’ll need to wait and see if the M3 chip really offers a large enough jump in performance over its predecessor to re-stimulate demand.”
It’s also possible Apple may show off new accessories as the company moves to a USB-C universal charging system. At this point, there are no rumors of a new iPad launch.
Apple’s annual September event is typically its largest of the year. Last month, Apple unveiled its iPhone 15 devices with a slimmer design, a more-advanced main camera system, a customizable Action button, and USB-C charging.
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