Apple Forced To Delay Mac Pro, Says Analyst, As It Misses Deadline On Transitioning From Intel To In-House Chips

Zinger Key Points
  • Apple has not been immune to the economic and geopolitical challenges consumer-focused tech companies have faced this year.
  • The company has flagged production shortfalls of its flagship product — the iPhone — and has also delayed Mac Pro launch.

Apple Inc. AAPL has suffered due to the COVID-19 disruptions in China, which has hurt its iPhone production. The company is now reportedly facing a delay with its Mac Pro, powered by in-house chips.

What Happened: Apple has missed its deadline for transitioning away from Intel Corp. INTC processors to in-house Mac chips, Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman said in his weekly “Power On” newsletter. He said that the transition was supposed to have happened by the middle of the year.

See Also: How to Buy Apple (AAPL) Stock

Among the Macs, the Mac Pro is yet to come with an Apple chip and the high-end version of the Mac mini desktop still comes with an Intel chip, Gurman said. The company, however, is actively testing a new Mac Pro and an M2 Pro-based Mac mini to replace the remaining Intel models, he added.

The delay, according to Gurman, is due to multiple changes to its feature, a big shift in plans for high-end processors and a potential relocation of the manufacturing of the device.

The Mac Pro is now expected to rely on a new-generation M2 Ultra chip, instead of the M1 Ultra, and will retain one of its hallmark features, namely easy expandability for additional memory, storage and other components, Gurman said. According to the Apple leaker, this is a change in its original plan of having a processor equal to two M1 chips or four M1 Mac combined.

Additionally, Apple is working on multiple new external monitors as well, including an update to the Pro Display XDR that was launched alongside the Intel Mac Pro in 2019, he added.

Gurman expects new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max options to arrive in early 2023. A high-end iMac Pro with Apple is also planned, although it has suffered internal delays, he said.

The M2 Pro-based Mac mini will come in regular M2 and M2 Pro variations, the Apple writer said.

Assembly Moving Back To Asia? The current version, meant for at least for US customers, is built at a Flex Ltd. plant in Austin, Texas, although parts, including the main internal components, power supply and body, are made in China and then pieced together in Texas, Gurman said.

Assembly was moved to Texas in 2019, bowing to pressure by then President Donald Trump, Gurman said. Now, that there has been a change of guard, Apple can move Mac Pro production to Asia, he said. Production, however, is likely to be shifted to Vietnam, which already makes some AirPods, he added.

Price Action: Apple closed Friday's session down 1.46%, at $134.51, according to Benzinga Pro data.

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