Apple’s M2 Mac Pro Delayed, Production May Shift to Vietnam: Gurman

In this week’s edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that Apple has scrapped a planned “M2 Extreme” chip for its highest-end Mac machine, the Mac Pro, as it slips behind schedule.

According to Gurman, Apple has been testing the first Apple Silicon Mac Pro internally for months and had planned to launch it by now, but multiple changes to features and configuration have pushed it back. Apple originally wanted to offer the Mac Pro with an option of a processor equal to either two M1 Max chips, or four.

The dual M1 Max chip ended up first launching in the Mac Studio as the M1 Ultra, and Apple decided to push back the Mac Pro to the M2 generation. The company then planned for the Mac Pro to come in two configurations: an M2 Ultra version and a double-M2 Ultra that I’ve dubbed the “M2 Extreme.”

Apple’s M2 Ultra chip will feature up to 24 CPU cores, 76 GPU cores, and support for a minimum of 192 GB of memory. Gurman said an M2 Extreme chip, would have been even beefier, doubling those specs to 48 CPU cores and 152 GPU cores.

“But here’s the bad news: The company has likely scrapped that higher-end configuration,” Gurman revealed, adding that the move “may disappoint Apple’s most demanding users — the photographers, editors and programmers who prize that kind of computing power.”

The renowned Apple tipster said the complexity and cost of producing a processor that is essentially four M2 Max chips fused together drove Apple to ditch it. In addition, Gurman said the potential price and the current market appetite factored in as well. He speculated that a Mac Pro with an M2 Extreme chip would probably have cost at least $10,000 for the base configuration.

Instead, Gurman expects the first Apple Silicon Mac Pro to be powered exclusively by a new M2 Ultra chip but inherit the same easy expansion of memory, storage, and other components as its Intel-powered predecessor.

Beyond the Mac Pro, Gurman dished out details on a Mac mini refresh that will come in base M2 and M2 Pro flavours. He added that new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros are on track to debut early next year with M2 Pro and M2 Max chip options.

Apple also has an iMac Pro with Apple Silicon in the works, per Gurman, but that has faced delays for the same reasons as the Mac Pro.

In addition, Gurman said Apple is working on “multiple new external monitors,” all with Apple Silicon. However, the analyst said the first of these will likely launch after the Mac Pro.

While Apple assembles the current Intel-powered version of its Mac Pro in Austin, Texas (at least for U.S.-based customers), after manufacturing the components in China, the tech giant is reportedly looking to move wholesale production for the Apple Silicon iteration back to Asia.

Having faced wave after wave of production disruptions in China as of late, Gurman expects Apple to produce its new high-end Mac in Vietnam. According to recent reports, Apple is accelerating plans to move more of its production out of China and spread it across Asia.