MacBook Pro 2021 release date, specs: Apple M2 chip enters mass production, expected to ship in July
The production of the next-level Apple silicon chip, dubbed M2, has reportedly started. That puts it in line with the anticipated launch of refreshed MacBook Pro laptops that could be announced later this year.
MacBook Pro 2021’s likely processor has reportedly entered mass production
Nikkei Asia reports that the M2 system-on-chip has entered mass production this month making it possible for the processor’s shipments to start around July. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is reportedly producing the chipset using the N5P technology, which means the M2 will have a 5nm architecture, similar to its predecessor.
The report did not contain information about the M2 chip's technical specifications and how it could improve the computing performance of the upcoming MacBook Pro products. But Apple fans can expect the usual upgrades that would enhance the CPU and GPU capacities of the chipset. It was also noted that the name “M2” is still tentative, so there is also a chance that it could be marketed as M1X as some tech fans predict.
It has been almost a year since Apple officially announced its plan to produce its own ARM-based processor for its computers. At the time of its announcement, the tech giant said it intends to have all of its product lines with Intel-based chips to be replaced with models powered by its own chipset within two years.
M1-powered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are already the flagship Mac products in Apple’s online store. But the company has yet to phase out models that have Intel Core processors, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Meanwhile, there could be several other upgrades planned for the 2021 lineup of the MacBook Pro. Early reports have suggested that Apple is eyeing a mini-LED display adoption, at least for the upcoming 16-inch model. This does not sound unlikely now that Apple has done it for the iPad Pro.
MacBook Pro release date expected in the second half of 2021
The reported mass production of M2 chip at this point in 2021 should also be seen as a good sign, considering the continuing shortage in semiconductor supplies. If everything else goes as planned, the next lineup of the MacBook Pro should be announced in the fall, possibly sometime in October or November.