Hot on the heels of the new iPhone 13 series and Apple Watch Series 7, launched last month, Apple is expected to announce redesigned MacBook Pro notebooks and the new AirPods 3 later today at a virtual event. The October 18 event, titled “Unleashed” is Apple’s second big event of the year. You can watch it here, later today.
Redesigned Macbook Pro
The expected design upgrades in the MacBook Pro notebooks include a MagSafe magnetic charger and improved 14 and 16-inch displays, as per Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who also believes that Apple is going to scrap the Touch Bar in the new laptops. Aimed at creators, the Touch Bar was a regular fixture in high-end MacBook Pro notebooks since 2016. Apple is also likely to move away from the single connector philosophy and bring back HDMI and SD card reader.
New M1X chip
In addition to the new design shift, the new MacBooks are expected to be powered by the upgraded version of Apple’s ARM-based M1 SoC (system on chip), which is expected to have 10 cores that includes eight high performance cores and two cores for basic tasks. Apple M1 was developed in-house as an alternative to third-party Intel SoCs that have been powering Mac PCs and MacBooks since 2006. Switching to an in-house SoC, gave Apple greater control over the entire process of SoC designing and achieved greater efficiency. It also reduced their dependence on Intel, which was one of the reasons why Apple could not upgrade their notebook lineup as frequently as they did with their iPhones.
The M1 chip currently powers the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini desktop PC, which were launched in 2020, and the 24-inch iMac and the iPad Pro tablet, which were launched in 2021.
New Mac Mini
The M1X chip should also feature on a new Mac Mini, Apple’s creator focused desktop device. Apple’s Mac Mini are popular amongst graphic designers, video editors and more, and the company already has versions of these running on the current M1 chips.
The other major expectation from tonight’s Apple event is the AirPods 3 which has reportedly been under development for quite some time and was slated for a launch early this year. AirPods is a major product portfolio for Apple and as per reports they generate around $12 billion a year. Apple is also working on bringing health-centric features to the AirPods such as a body temperature monitor, posture tracker, and also as a hearing aid.
The Apple event will be streamed at 10.30 pm (IST) on Apple.com, the Apple TV app, and Apple’s YouTube channel.