MacBook Pro should receive an Apple chip
MacBook Air 2020 with M1 chip
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Apple is holding a launch event on Monday to announce new products, like a redesigned MacBook Pro.
Apple has a chance to continue developing its Macs ahead of the holiday shopping season, especially as it is expected to announce more computers running on its own chips instead of Intel processors.
Newer computers running on the company’s powerful M1 processor have “fueled” Mac’s growth, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in June. In the last three quarters ending in June 2021, Apple sold $ 26 billion Macs, up almost 33% from the $ 19.59 billion sold in the same period last year. “In fact, the last three quarters for Mac have been its best three quarters of all time,” Cook said in June.
Before the pandemic, which led to sales of new computers, many customers and analysts feared Apple was neglecting the Mac in favor of newer, faster-growing companies like its Apple Watch and iPhones. But Mac computers are still essential for Apple. It’s only possible to develop iPhone apps on a Mac through Apple’s Xcode software, for example, and Mac remains a bigger business than the iPad.
Last month, Apple announced and then released new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, leaving Apple’s Mac lineup as the main product line that hasn’t been updated this fall. The larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s most premium laptop, hasn’t been updated since 2019 and currently uses Intel processors instead of Apple’s newer chips.
Here’s what to expect on Monday.
A complete transition
If Apple announces new MacBook laptops on Monday, it will be the culmination of a two-year transition to completely revamp the entire Mac lineup.
As of 2019, Apple has replaced Intel processors inside Macs with its own processors, called M1s, which provide longer battery life and allow Apple to integrate its hardware and software more tightly. Apple’s chips also enable new functionality while providing enough power to run demanding applications.
So far, Apple has released four different Macs using its new chips: the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, 13in MacBook Pro, and redesigned 24in iMac.
Apple will likely emphasize the benefits of its own chip, as it has at several previous Mac launch events. Expect a new name for the M1 chip if Apple significantly improves performance. It might call it M1X or M2, depending on how Apple wants to market the processor upgrades.
Apple has reportedly prepared a redesign of its high-end MacBook Pros with its own chips and new ports, including space for an HDMI cable to connect the laptop to monitors, and a magnetic charger, according to Bloomberg. An iMac with a larger screen and a Mac Mini desktop with more power are also in the works, according to the report.
Apple is also expected to provide a release date for macOS Monterey, the latest version of Mac software, which was announced in June but has yet to be officially released on Monday.
Touch bar on the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro
Todd Haselton | CNBC
The growth of Apple’s Mac has also been boosted by changes the company has made to address some long-standing consumer issues with certain products.
Between the end of 2017 and the second fiscal quarter of 2020, Apple reported eight out of 10 quarters of flat or negative annual growth in its Mac business. Growth started to take off in 2020.
In 2015, Apple introduced a thinner keyboard for its laptops, often referred to as the “butterfly keyboard”. In the years to come, the thinner keyboard became standard in Apple’s laptop lineup.
But the keyboard was plagued by reports that it was unreliable and that crumbs or dust could make certain keys “sticky” and not register or type certain letters twice. Apple has an ongoing service program to repair faulty butterfly keyboards manufactured from 2015 to 2019 for free. It is also facing a class action lawsuit over whether it knew the keyboards were faulty.
During this period, the biggest novelty of Apple laptops was the Touch Bar, a touch screen strip that replaced the function keys. However, many users found it frustrating and less useful than regular keys. Software developers have never flocked to create software for the touchscreen, and Apple’s recent MacBook Air M1 hasn’t.
At the same time, Apple drastically reduced the number of ports on its laptops, streamlining them into a few USB-C connectors. Users complained about needing adapters, often referred to as dongles, to connect things like mice and external monitors to laptops, which sometimes used older USB-A connections. Apple-made dongles were expensive, often costing over $ 20 per adapter. The company temporarily cut prices for adapters in 2016 after users complained.
That could change on Monday. The new design of Apple’s MacBook Pro could include an HDMI port for connecting the laptop to external monitors or televisions, an SD card port for photographers and a new version of its MagSafe magnetic charger, meeting many needs. complaints from professional users, according to Bloomberg. Apple’s 2017 MacBook Air was the last laptop to feature MagSafe charging, even though customers loved it.
Apple has started to reverse some of the Mac design decisions it has made over the past decade. The MacBook Air M1 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro now have a more traditional keyboard with deeper keys. Both computers received positive reviews. Laptops still use USB-C ports for charging, but Apple’s new iMac desktop computer, the first redesign since 2015, has a new kind of magnetic power adapter.
An increase in PC sales
Apple iMac M1 2021
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Apple’s Mac business was boosted by a global increase in PC sales during the Covid-19 pandemic as schools, businesses and individuals purchased new laptops and desktops to go to the school or work from home.
Earlier this year, at its peak, PC sales (including Windows) saw their strongest year-over-year growth in 20 years, according to research firm Gartner. Research firm IDC said PC sales jumped 55% year-on-year in the first quarter. Analysts covering the PC industry and component manufacturers said at the time that they were optimistic that there was a permanent shift in PC sales trends.
But the wave of CPs linked to the pandemic could be coming to an end. In the third quarter, typically a boom period due to back-to-school sales, the US PC market contracted for the first time since the pandemic’s first quarter, according to the IDC market research.
Apple’s computer shipments rose 10% in the third quarter, according to IDC, but pandemic trends that have lifted all manufacturers appear to have slowed down considerably. Before the pandemic, PCs were one of the slowest growing tech markets, with several years of steady growth over the past decade.
Apple is hoping the shiny new Macs can turn this trend around.