Apple M5 rumors: Possible release date, AI upgrades, expected devices, and more

Apple’s future M5 chip shows promise for impressive upgrades to performance, efficiency, and AI power, but it’s likely to be released at least a year from now.In May, Apple launched the latest M4 chip inside its new iPad Pro model, and we’ve already seen stellar Geekbench 6 scores for the M4. To imagine that Apple’s M5 silicon could be more powerful than the M4 chip is wild but not unexpected, especially considering the M5 chip could be the first to use 2nm process technology.We still don’t know much about Apple’s next-gen M5 chip, like detailed improvements to specs and AI features. But thanks to early leaks, rumors, and speculation, we can surmise quite a bit about the M5 chip, from which devices we expect to see it on to its release date and price. Latest news (Updated 7/5/2024)Apple M5: Release date and priceApple’s M4 chip practically just launched for the iPad Pro, and we don’t even have a release date yet for the M4 Pro, M4 Max, or M4 Ultra chips. So, chances are, we’ll be waiting a while for Apple’s M5 chip.However, if we look at previous release dates for Apple’s silicon, we can make an educated guess as to when the M5 chip might be announced.Base M2 chip: June 2022M2 Pro and M2 Max: January 2023M2 Ultra: June 2023Entire M3 Series: October 2023Base M4 chip: May 2024M4 Pro, M4 Max, M4 Ultra: TBAWhile past schedules have varied for Apple’s Pro, Max, and Ultra chip variants, the company tends to release a new base chip every year. Looking at the dates above, it seems likely that Apple could release its M5 chip sometime in May or June 2025.(Image credit: Apple)That said, a report from DigiTimes suggests Apple is working on AI cloud computing chips that could be part of the M5 lineup. It says these chips “will enter mass production at TSMC in the second half of 2025.”Get our in-depth reviews, helpful tips, great deals, and the biggest news stories delivered to your inbox.If Apple launches all of its M5 chips simultaneously like it did with the M3 series, an October 2025 release date could be more likely.Regarding price, there’s a good chance we won’t see any price increases between M4 devices and M5 devices. The 11-inch iPad Pro M4 increased by $200 compared to its predecessor, so the chances of another price increase for an M5 iPad Pro are slim.That said, take this all with a grain of salt. We don’t know anything official yet from Apple, and we probably won’t for a while.Apple M5: Possible variantsWhile we don’t have definitive information yet on possible M5 variants, Apple is fairly predictable in this area.The M5 base variant will probably be the first to debut, likely followed by three more powerful variants: M5 Pro, M5 Max, and M5 Ultra.(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)Of course, it’s possible that Apple could switch things up and come out with three or five M5 variants. But based on the company’s track record, we’re confident there will be four unique M5 variants, likely with the M5 Pro and M5 Max releasing together after the base M5 variant and then the M5 Ultra chip releasing last.That said, Apple launched all of its M3 variants at once, so the company could be prepared to do that with its M5 series.Apple M5: Expected devicesThanks to some backend sleuthing by X user Nicolás Álvarez , we know which four iPads could be the first to feature Apple’s upcoming M5 chip:iPad17,1 – M5 11-inch Pro Wi-FiiPad17,2 – M5 11-inch Pro CellulariPad17,3 – M5 13-inch Pro Wi-FiiPad17,4 – M5 13-inch Pro CellularInitially, we only had iPad identifiers, like iPad 17,1, iPad 17,2, etc. But thanks to a popular tweet from @aaronp613 and guesses from @AppleDBdev on which devices the identifiers might represent, we learned Apple’s iPad Pro will likely be the first device to debut the M5 chip.This theory doesn’t seem too far-fetched because Apple launched the M5 chip in its new iPad Pro in May.More devices will inevitably sport the M5, but we only know about these four potential iPad Pro models.Apple M5: SpecsSo far, we don’t have any leaked benchmarks or performance estimates for the M5 chip because it likely hasn’t been made yet. It’s not wild to assume that the M5 chip will be significantly more powerful than the M4 chip, but we don’t know how much more powerful it will be.(Image credit: Apple)The biggest rumor we have about Apple’s M5 chip’s specs right now is that it could be the first chip to feature 2-nanometer technology.This “2-nanometer technology” essentially refers to the design rules used for chips. Silicon made with 2-nanometer technology will feature more transistors in a smaller space compared to 3-nanometer technology, which is what Apple’s M3 and M4 chips utilize. More transistors translate to better performance and more efficient power consumption.According to DigiTimes (via MacRumors), in January 2024, Apple was “widely believed to be the initial client to use the [2-nanometer] process.”Apple M5 chip: AI featuresThe AI space is quickly ramping up, and Apple’s M5 chip will undoubtedly be even more AI-heavy than the existing M4 chip.Right now, the Neural Engine inside Apple’s M4 chip delivers up to 38 trillion operations per second, which the company says is 60x faster than its first Neural Engine ever. The M5 chip will likely have a more powerful Neural Engine capable of delivering better AI performance.(Image credit: Future photo illustration)According to DigiTimes, Apple will supposedly use advanced small outline integrated circuit (SOIC) packaging from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its next-gen silicon, which “could signal a strategy to cover all the bases from AI PCs to cloud AI applications.” This change in how Apple’s chips are made indicates potentially more robust AI performance.  However, Apple needs to be careful that its hardware doesn’t outpace its software. A mighty chip is nothing without powerful, intuitive software to match its capabilities.OutlookThe Apple M5 chip may be about a year away from release, so the current rumors and leaks surrounding it are pretty impressive. This powerful successor to the M4 chip will likely boast improvements to performance, efficiency, and AI capabilities, and we can’t wait.We hope Apple will release its more powerful M4 variants — the M4 Pro, M4 Max, and M4 Ultra — later this year to better understand how powerful the M5 chip could be. If the M5 chip is truly the first chip to utilize 2-nanometer process technology, we can’t wait to test it.Apple’s next event this year will likely happen in September, but there probably won’t be any new information about the M5 chip. Instead, we’ll hear all about the upcoming iPhone 16.More from Laptop Mag

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