Apple MacBook Pro 2024: the latest rumors and everything we know so far

MacBook Pro 14 M3 Max (2023) partially open
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPad Pro arriving with the M4 chip on board was rather a shock move from Apple, and since that happened, the question on the lips of many curious folks has been: when’s this powerful new CPU coming to a MacBook?

Well, we don’t know the answer to that for sure, but if the rumor mill is right, the first of Apple’s laptop line-up to get an M4 refresh will be the mighty MacBook Pro.

Of course, it makes sense for this MacBook model to be first in line to have the M4 installed as its processing engine, as it is the laptop from Apple that requires the most grunt – and the MacBook Pro got the M3 chip first too (alongside the iMac).

If you’re wondering how this MacBook Pro M4 might shape up in terms of its design, spec, pricing, and when it might arrive – you’ve come to the right place. We’ll fill you in with all the crucial details you need to know, starting with that all-important release date.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next-gen MacBook Pro
  • When is it out? Rumors point to late 2024
  • How much will it cost? No rumors yet, but prices are likely to hold steady

Apple MacBook Pro 2024 rumored release date and price

MacBook Pro 14 M3 Max keyboard

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The expectation for the next MacBook Pro that’ll surely come with the M4 chip on-board is that these laptops will arrive towards the end of 2024 – or at least some initial models will.

Respected leaker Ross Young, an analyst in the display industry, believes screen shipments for MacBook Pro models – both 14-inch and 16-inch – will start in Q3 2024, meaning these laptops will be ready to hit shelves late in the year.

That timeframe is backed up by another well-known Apple leaker, Mark Gurman (of Bloomberg fame), who also believes MacBook Pro M4 models are set to arrive ‘later’ in 2024 (as well as Mac mini and iMac M4 computers).

Gurman casts some doubt on whether we’ll see all the MacBook Pro versions turn up in 2024, though. First off, we should note that the leaker believes the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch will be the only notebook to get the plain M4 chip – the higher-tier 14-inch models, and all 16-inch variants, will be equipped with more powerful M4 Pro and M4 Max CPUs, we’re told.

Gurman has indicated that we may only get the 14-inch MacBook Pro with base M4 chip this year, and the other models might not debut until early 2025, or at least some may not. As Apple launched all the M3 chips (vanilla, Pro, Max) together last time out, we can’t rule out the same scenario later this year – but some kind of staggered MacBook Pro launch may well be the plan, spanning late 2024 and early 2025.

MacBook Pro 16-inch side view

(Image credit: Future)

While the release date rumors seem to chime together broadly, then, in terms of an initial launch late in 2024, sadly we haven’t heard a peep about expected pricing for the new M4-toting MacBook Pros.

As we’ll discuss next, the changes aren’t expected to be huge with the next-gen MacBook Pro 2024, though – save for the M4 upgrade – and given that, we feel that pricing is likely to hold at a similar level to what we have now.

To refresh your memory, the current MacBook Pro 14-inch starts at $1,599 / £1,699 / AU$2,699 and the MacBook Pro 16-inch starts at $2,499 / £2,599 / AU$4,299 (again, sticking at the same level as the model before it).

Apple MacBook Pro 2024 news, rumors and spec

MacBook Pro 14 M3 Max (2023) on a desk

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

As we just mentioned, if you’re expecting an all-new MacBook Pro and a considerable redesign bristling with changes, then you might be disappointed. All signs currently point to Apple sticking mostly with its current formula for these powerhouse laptops.

We can expect the same MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models, with largely the same design and features, albeit with nuances and upgrades here and there. The only major upgrade rumored is the step up to the M4 processor, of course, which should make a considerable difference to performance.

The M4 CPU will also pack a whole lot more punch for AI acceleration, as we’ve already seen with the chip in the iPad Pro, and we can logically expect the MacBook Pro to go large here – what with Tim Cook’s company firmly jumping on the AI bandwagon with Apple Intelligence as revealed at WWDC 2024. Apple will want to reply to all the hype Microsoft has been stoking with Copilot+ PCs like the new Surface devices, after all, so MacBook Pros are surely going to be waving the AI flag in a big way.

MacBook Pro 14 M3 Max (2023) in hand

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

As for other changes, we might see Apple bolster the MacBook Pro on the connectivity side of the equation. We’re talking about possibly more Thunderbolt ports, or probably more likely, higher-bandwidth ports that allow for hooking up higher-res monitors with fast refresh rates.

There is another possibility, namely the theory that the MacBook Pro could get a bit slimmer in the future. This is another nugget from Gurman who believes Apple is going to make all its devices somewhat trimmer, following the trend set by the ‘thinpossible’ OLED iPad Pro.

Gurman mentions the MacBook Pro as one of the Apple devices set to be made thinner, but is vague on the timeframe for when this might happen. All we get is an indication that this ‘thin’ philosophy will “filter down to other devices over the next couple of years” and that includes the MacBook Pro. So, reading into that, it seems more likely that this would be a move reserved for the model to follow the next-gen MacBook Pro – the 2025 take on the laptop.

Indeed, perhaps it could be the MacBook Pro line-up for 2026 that gets the ‘thinpossible’ card played, because the latest rumor is that’s when Apple could debut OLED with the laptops, and these screens will help to make the devices slimmer.

And yes, in case you were in any doubt, we certainly won’t get OLED this year (or next – it looks like being 2026 at the earliest, or that’s the balance of most of the speculation which has been flying around). In short, the thinning of the MacBook Pro is not something we’re expecting to happen with the 2024 refresh.

MacBook Pro 16-inch with screen open in an office

(Image credit: Future)

What also suggests we’ll only get relatively minor changes with the MacBook Pro 2024 is the fact that the rumor mill has been pretty quiet about incoming features and additions for the laptop thus far. Remember, it’s not far off launching in theory – we could see it in October or November 2024 – and if there were huge moves underway with the next-gen MacBook Pro, we’d surely have heard about them by now?

So, it looks to be a case of an M4 upgrade, and probably some tweaks to the design, including the shuffling about of ports and the like (although the potential upgrade to Thunderbolt bandwidth could be a big plus point for creatives and other pros, it has to be said). Don’t expect any earthshaking moves at this point – although that won’t stop the MacBook Pro 2024 from still being a great candidate to do well on our list of the best Macs, what with the M4 and those AI advancements.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).