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BENGALURU: Apple Inc on Tuesday unveiled MacBooks powered by its new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, in a surprise announcement weeks ahead of its traditional launch event.

The Mac mini starts at $599, cheaper than the latest iPhone 14 series, and is available from Jan. 24. MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch with the latest chips start at $1,999, compared with the $1,299 price tag of a 13-inch model fitted with the M2 chip.

Apple’s latest chips are upgrades to the M2 chip launched last year and a part of the company’s efforts to rely more on chips designed in-house after it moved away from using Intel’s technology in 2020 following 15 years of collaboration.

The M2 Pro has nearly 20% more transistors than the M1 Pro and double the amount in M2, helping programs like Adobe Photoshop run heavy workloads “faster than ever”, Apple said.

The company replaced chipmaker Nvidia as one of the top ten semiconductor vendors by revenue last year, according to a Gartner report on Tuesday.

“This is all connected to the delayed chipset transition ... With it being delayed, Apple has been faced with the questions to wait for the traditional, expected launch or actually do something a bit unexpected,” said Canalys research analyst Runar Bjørhovde.

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