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Apple launches Macbooks with new M2 chips in a rare January release

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Apple Inc on Tuesday unveiled MacBooks powered by its new, faster M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in a surprise launch weeks ahead of its usual schedule.

The release of the devices using the latest versions of Apple’s M2 chip, which debuted last year, follows the tech giant’s decision in 2020 to use internally designed semiconductors after 15 years of relying on Intel technology.

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The new Mac mini starts at $599 and will be available starting January 24. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with the latest chips start at $1,999, compared to the price of $1,299 for a 13-inch model equipped with the M2. chip.

Announcement 2

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New Macbook Pro models have been expected for months, but supply chain issues meant the launch was pushed back from last year to early 2023, Bloomberg News reported in October.

“This is all related to the delayed transition of the chipset… By delaying, Apple has been faced with the questions of waiting for the traditional expected release or doing something a bit unexpected,” said Runar Bjørhovde, an analyst at Canalys.

“This is a great way to launch things and surprise consumers and competitors,” Bjørhovde said, adding that the announcement could generate some excitement at a time when the broader PC market is in a slump.

Apple shares rose about 1%, outperforming a broadly weaker market. The stock lost about 27% in 2022, its biggest drop since the 2008 financial crisis.

Announcement 3

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Apple said the new M2 Pro has nearly 20% more transistors than the M1 Pro and twice as many as the M2, helping programs like Adobe Photoshop run heavy workloads “faster than ever.”

The company, which sources its chips made by TSMC from Taiwan, replaced chipmaker Nvidia as one of the top 10 semiconductor vendors by revenue last year, according to a Gartner report released Tuesday.

“We estimate the value of these (Apple) chips to be equivalent to $17.6 billion in 2022. The growth is coming from the rising cost of increasingly complex chips,” said Andrew Norwood, Gartner vice president analyst.

Apple usually holds its first event of the year in March, when it introduces its iMacs and accessories. This year’s spring event could include the launch of a long-awaited augmented reality headset, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Devika Syamnath)


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