Keen to see new MacBook Pros with the M4 chip? They could arrive at the end of 2024

The new MacBook Pro with M3 chip in the new Space Black colorway.
(Image credit: Future)

Since the debut of the M3 chips at Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event last year, the computing world has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of its successor – the M4. While this CPU debuted earlier this year, it’s only in the new iPad Pro so far, and what we really want to see is this chip powering a MacBook – and that might happen soon enough.

Fresh whispers on the grapevine are suggesting that the next M4 refresh we’ll see is the MacBook Pro line-up. According to analyst Ross Young, an expert in display supply chain matters, panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to go out at the beginning of the third quarter (which ends in September), and this suggests an end-of-year launch.

With the current lineup of M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max MacBook Pro models already in place, it makes logical sense to equip the next-gen laptops with new chips. Especially considering the M4 is already available with the iPad Pro as mentioned.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple leaker, has also predicted that M4 Macs are set to appear towards the end of 2024, suggesting the MacBook Pro and Mac mini will be first in line for an M4 refresh. Rumor has it that the vanilla M4 chip is destined for the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch, whereas the other higher-tier models, and its 16-inch sibling, will get the M4 Pro and M4 Max chips. 

Apple MacBook Pro M3 (2023)

(Image credit: Apple)

Unfortunately, we may not witness any further significant changes to the MacBook Pro aside from this M4 chip upgrade. That’s not to say a new CPU isn’t exciting news, but this would mean those with an M3-toting MacBook Pro are going to struggle to find much of a reason to upgrade.

We’re likely not going to see OLED MacBooks until 2026 at the earliest, which is rather disappointing considering we’ve all been waiting on an OLED MacBook for some time. We’re told that when they do turn up, these MacBooks will use the same ‘tandem’ OLED displays as the iPad Pro (tandem refers to the incorporation of two OLED panels layered on top of each other, for better brightness and color clarity).                
The move to OLED screens is widely expected to boost the Apple MacBook Pro’s desirability, and I am inclined to agree. Who normally uses a MacBook Pro? Artists, videographers, filmmakers, animators, editors – and all those users and other creatives who would no doubt benefit from a sharper, better, more vibrant OLED display.

The combination of such a crystal-clear OLED display and ever more powerful AI-focused M-series silicon could mean this future MacBook is a bestseller, though we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit. First stop, a new M4 MacBook Pro – and let’s see if this rumor pans out, and if indeed the CPU is the only meaningful upgrade with the refreshed laptops.           

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).