M4 MacBooks: A timeline of when to expect Apple's next-gen laptops

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future)

It feels like Apple's M3 MacBooks have only just rolled off the factory floor and onto shelves. However, with an ongoing push towards delivering annual refreshes across Apple's catalog, we're already counting down to the release of M4-powered MacBooks and Macs.

This year is likely to be the start of this product-wide annual refresh cycle for Apple's Macs, with the company already nearing production of its next-gen M4 chips in advance. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that the first M4 Macs should arrive towards the end of 2024, with a wider selection of devices, housing more powerful variants of the chipset, to follow throughout 2025.

M4 MacBooks: A timeline of when to expect Apple's next-gen laptops

Unlike previous refresh cycles, Apple is reportedly prepared to shift all of its Mac devices over to the new M4 chip across the span of a year — which will result in some devices skipping the M3 chipset entirely, but will also avoid certain Macs being left behind a generation as when the Mac Pro failed to receive an M2 refresh.

A rough timeline of when to expect these M4 refreshes is listed below. However, as with all early information, the dates here are subject to change in the future. That being said, at the time of writing, Apple's M4 Mac plans look as follows:

  • Q4 2024: The tail-end of 2024 should see Apple's M4 Silicon debut with a low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro and a 24-inch iMac.
  • Q4 2024 - Q1 2025: Apple reportedly plans to launch high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by M4 Pro/Max chips, with a Mac mini to release within this window available in M4 and M4 Pro configurations.
  • Q1 - Q2 2025: According to estimates, it'll be around spring 2025 before we see all-new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs released featuring the M4 chipset.
  • Q2 - Q3 2025: A high-end Mac Studio is set to launch midway through 2025 that could feature M4 Pro/Max/Ultra configurations.
  • Q3 - Q4 2025: Finally, in the second half of 2025, Apple is said to be releasing a Mac Pro housing an M4 Ultra chip.


Apple's sweeping refresh should please many Mac users, as every model will be granted the same M4 upgrade whether you're primarily a desktop or laptop user. This push could also indicate some big news is in the pipeline for AI on Macs, as the M4 chip is said to prioritize supporting on-device artificial intelligence.

We already know that Apple is ready to pull the trigger on AI, with iOS 18 and the iPhone 16 set to be a breakthrough in putting this tech to use. With Apple's entire computing catalog being granted this AI-focused chipset, there may be a treasure trove of AI-assisted features to look forward to in the company's upcoming MacOS 15 release, also.

More from Laptop Mag

  • Want to know more about Apple's latest M3 MacBooks? Check out our reviews of the MacBook Pro 14, MacBook Air 13, and MacBook Air 15.
  • Are you excited to see what's coming to Macs in the near future? Check out our roundup of the latest macOS 15 news.
  • Are you interested to hear more about Apple's smartphone and AI plans? Catch the latest news in our rumor mills for the iPhone 16 and iOS 18.
Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.