In 2020, Apple introduced its innovative class of processors, called Apple Silicon, in an effort to transition away from Intel chips. The first of its kind, the ARM-based M1 chip improved system performance, power efficiency, and battery life by unifying the memory shared between chip components. The M1 chip also enabled users to run apps across all their Apple devices, providing a truly connected experience and resulting in a surge in demand for Apple devices.
Next-gen Apple Silicon was announced at Apple’s WWDC 2022 event with the launch of the M2 chip.
The new M2 MacBook Pro is similar in design to the original, one of the world’s most popular laptops, along with the MacBook Air. As a result, users may recognize previous versions' features, including the touch screen bar, display size, and other items.
However, Apple claims the M2 MacBook Pro offers significant performance gains over the previous model, including an 18 percent faster CPU, 35 percent more powerful GPU, and 40 percent faster Neural Engine. These updates will be necessary for graphics-heavy and memory-heavy users within a managed service provider’s (MSP’s) client base. In addition, the latest MacBook Pro comes standard with the M2 chip, 8 GB of unified memory, and 256GB of storage. This can be upgraded, however, to 24GB of unified memory and 2TB of storage, if needed.
With the launch of the M2 chip and the new line of MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, Apple stands to grab even more market share from PC manufacturers. Popular office software vendors, including Adobe, Microsoft, and others, have already announced or begun releasing software compatible with the M2 chip. As a result, there is less lock-in to PC manufacturers than ever before, as software compatibility concerns are becoming a thing of the past.
These developments are significant for MSPs who deliver Mac support. First, it’s an opportunity to offer device upgrades to clients who may want or need them. Second, it allows MSPs to demonstrate their Apple expertise and provide greater value as trusted advisors. Third, it enables MSPs to be aligned with the latest innovation in the marketplace and provide clients with full-service support.
For MSPs, the shift in device marketplace dynamics, including the launch of the M2 MacBook Pro, means it's more important than ever to consider a strategy for managing and monitoring Apple devices within client environments. This may include evaluating device monitoring and management tools to ensure they have the specific capabilities needed for Apple devices.
While it may be intimidating to see the SMB and enterprise device landscape change under our feet, it presents a significant opportunity for MSPs who can help their clients build a successful device strategy and provide the services to manage those devices on an ongoing basis.
Over the past few years, we have seen Apple device usage climb steadily within businesses of every size — from small and medium to enterprise-level. IDC reported that macOS devices now account for 23 percent of laptops in the office, up from 19 percent just two years ago, and iPhones now account for 49 percent of all smartphones. There is no sign of Apple’s popularity slowing down; the M2 MacBook Pro is just the latest device to enter the landscape. MSPs who leverage this growth market will serve themselves and their clients well.