First Apple silicon Macs to be 13- and 16-inch MacBook Pros and 13-inch MacBook Air

The 15-year relationship between Apple and Intel will officially begin the process of conscious uncoupling next week when new Apple silicon-powered Macs are revealed.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the world’s best pro notebook.
Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro

Mark Gurman and Deb Wu for Bloomberg:

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said on Monday that it will hold an online event dubbed “One more thing” on Nov. 10. That “thing” will be Macs with main processors designed by Apple for the first time, replacing Intel chips that have been a mainstay since 2006.

Apple and overseas suppliers are ramping up production of three new Mac laptops with Apple processors: new 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, according to people familiar with the matter. Beyond the processor switch, the devices won’t have significant design changes.

The first Mac processors from Apple will be based on the A14 chip found in the latest iPhones and iPad Air, and tests inside Apple indicate improved power efficiency over the Intel parts they are replacing. The new machines will also have Apple-designed graphics and machine-learning processors.

Apple said in June that the transition away from Intel chips will take two years. After updating its laptop line, Apple will still have until 2022 to update desktop computers — the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro and Mac mini — with its own processors.

The company is already at work on a redesigned iMac, the company’s all-in-one desktop, and a new Mac Pro model, Apple’s highest-end desktop, other people familiar with the company’s plans said.

Apple engineers are currently developing a new Mac Pro that looks like the current design at about half the size. It’s unclear if that Mac will replace the current Mac Pro or if it’s an additional model.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring on the Apple silicon-powered Macs! Unlike Intel, we can’t wait to see the benchmarks!

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do. — Steve Jobs

20 Comments

  1. Once those 3 models come out no one is going to want the old iMacs or the Mac Pro, those new other Silicon Macs had better be out by June 2021, Apple doesn’t have until 2022.

    1. The final insult for those of us who bought the grotesquely late-arriving 2019 Mac Pro was when it finally came it already was on the precipice of a major architecture change. How long will Apple truly support Intel Macs?

      1. God. The endless whining sound of CPU envy rings loud and clear. What should Apple do? Stop developing and progressing the product line so you can say you have the “newest” Mac for a long time? Ridiculous! Our Intel based Macs will be supported for quite some time to come. They are great machines today and will be no less great on November 11. Perspective and maturity, please.

      2. One of my older iMacs (late2012) that I used on my production line died today. Guess what I temporarily replaced it with? You are a winner if you guessed my 17 years old “lampshade” iMac. Using it in another non-production area so I had to steal it.

        So glad Apple makes products that are good for years and years and years.

  2. If power efficiency is the key initial selling point, it makes sense that the first Apple Silicon Macs will be laptops. Power efficiency is not as important for Macs that are plugged in continuously. So, replace the MacBooks first…

    Surprised if the MacBook Pro gets replaced so soon though. The 16-inch Intel version (that’s quite high-end) just arrived in June, 6 months ago!

    1. Iin quoted article, it says the “design” of those MacBooks will not change significantly, “beyond the processor switch.” That probably means external appearance; there will no doubt be many changes in internal design beyond just the processor.

      However, keeping external appearance the same (or very similar) may be part of THE PLAN for smooth transition. For example, the product is listed as MacBook Pro 16-inch. Among its configuration options, for the processor, in addition to current Intel choices, there is one or more choices with Apple A14.

      So, the customer’s primary choice is still MacBook Pro 16-inch, with secondary choice of Intel 6-core, Intel 8-core, OR Apple Silicon. And THAT is what Apple really means by a 2-year transition period. For some (not all) Mac models, Intel continues as a configuration choice for that same product. Apple Silicon Macs and Intel Macs are NOT separate products during transition. Probable exception is a new-look iMac, separate product from existing Intel iMacs.

        1. Because the 16-inch MacBook Pro is essentially brand new. It was release June 2020. Doesn’t make sense to release it, then just throw it away 6 months later. Also, professionals work for money and have an established workflow, unlike people with money just having fun with the latest gadgets. Right now, most of them need an Intel-based Mac to be real “professionals.” They NEED the choice to choose an Intel processor with their MacBook Pro.

            1. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is also NOT an “increasingly out of date design.” It was updated significantly in May 2020 (one month before 16-inch Pro), just 7 months ago. It got new keyboard, faster Intel processor options, and other technical improvements.

              The latest MacBook Air was released in March 2020. So… ALL current Apple laptops are less than one year old designs. Again, why would Apple release a new model, then just throw them out so soon? Apple does not operate that way.

              For MacBook Air, since it’s aimed at more “casual” users, I see it staying only Intel until next Fall (or whenever) and moving to a new design that is only Apple Silicon. But for MacBook Pro, I think there will be processor choices that include BOTH Intel and Apple Silicon options, while keeping the SAME external appearance during transition period. And the NEXT major design update will be Apple Silicon only.

            2. It is definitely out of date. It has large bezels, nothing close to an infinity screen and is heavier and larger than comparable ultrabooks. It might have been updated by Apple but it is stale.

              If it were not for macOS, an Apple laptop would be a significantly less attractive buy compared to Dell. Their hardware is excellent but they run only with Windows.

  3. I am very much looking forward to this transition to A-series SoCs. This will go down as one of the major computer architecture milestones in Apple’s history along with the original Mac, PPC processors, iMac, MacOS X, and Intel processors.

    The performance per watt advantage provided by the A-series SoCs will be a major advantage for Apple laptops. The thermal headroom will provide room for Apple to evolve its laptops to new levels of performance and capabilities.

    But the possibilities for Apple desktops may be even greater if A-series SoCs are architected to support efficient parallel processing. Can you imagine a Mac Pro running 32, 64, or even more A14 SoCs? The Mac mini starting with one A14 SoC, but expandable to two or four SoCs? An iMac with 4, 8, 16 or more A14 SoCs? The performance could be extreme…

      1. The fact that windows is poor does not mean that the hardware is not looking tired and has fallen behind PC laptops. It would be a sorry show if Apple were palming us off with tired designs because of our lock-in to MacOS.

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