Apple’s upcoming M3 chipset is expected to be officially unveiled later this year, becoming the company’s second 3nm chipset after the A17 Pro. However, shipments of Apple’s MacBook and iPad lineup have been on the decline, leading to lower demand for the new SoCs. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the work-from-home trend has run its course, leading to a decrease in demand for Apple’s products.
Kuo points out that ASML, a Dutch-based firm specializing in photolithography machines, is expected to cut its EUV equipment shipment forecasts for next year by up to 30 percent. This is partly due to the fact that Apple’s demand for the upcoming 3nm M3 chipset is lower than previously estimated. Shipments of MacBook and iPad models in 2023 declined significantly by approximately 30% and 22%, respectively, which Kuo attributes to the end of work-from-home demand and diminishing user appeal for new specifications like Apple Silicon and mini-LED displays.
Despite the advantages that mini-LED and Apple Silicon offer over competitors, consumers do not seem to be as interested in these features anymore. After the successful launch of the M1 chipset, Apple may not have been able to provide a significant performance and power-efficiency improvement with the introduction of the M2. As a result, customers may be skeptical about the efficiency of the upcoming M3 chipset since it will be produced on the same process as the A17 Pro, which disappointed in real-world tests.
Kuo also mentions that Qualcomm’s demand for 3nm chips is below expectations due to Huawei switching to its own Kirin SoCs. This has resulted in a loss of 60 million chip orders for Qualcomm. Additionally, the upcoming Exynos 2400 chipset for the Samsung Galaxy S24 series is expected to impact Qualcomm’s demand for next year. Both Apple and Qualcomm have been experiencing consecutive losses, making their financial performance in 2024 a point of interest.
Overall, the declining demand for Apple’s MacBook and iPad lineup, as well as the diminishing appeal of new specifications like Apple Silicon and mini-LED, are likely to impact the sales of the upcoming M3 chipset. Apple will need to find new growth drivers to boost demand and regain consumer confidence in its future products.