Apple has announced an event for October 18th, with the title “Unleashed” in a video. If you’ve been following the rumor mill, you’ll know that Apple still has a number of items that are slated to be released this year but have yet to be announced at an Apple event.
New, more powerful MacBook Pros will be among them, following the fantastic Apple Silicon-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro that debuted last November. The company is also anticipated to reveal new AirPods, as well as a full operating system that was previously mentioned but has yet to be released. Continue reading to learn more about the myths around these items.
REDESIGNED MACBOOK PROS
The majority of the rumors surrounding the presentation are around revamped MacBook Pros with 14- and 16-inch screens and a new Apple processor. Both Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo (both of whom have a good track record when it comes to rumors) have indicated that the laptops would have iPhone 12-style flat sides with a revised MagSafe charging connector and that the Touch Bar, which has been a hallmark of many MacBook Pros since 2016, will be gone.
With the revamp, Apple is also said to be adding ports back to its laptops. People who miss the days when MacBooks had more than one type of port will recognize (and potentially appreciate) the new MacBook Pros, which may contain an SD card reader, HDMI, and MagSafe connections.
The laptops will be powered by new CPUs, according to Mark Gurman, which are likely to be more powerful variants of the M1 processor used in today’s computers. The “M1X” (or M2, or whatever name Apple chooses) is likely to contain eight high-performance cores (compared to the M1’s seven or eight), as well as an option of 16 or 32 graphics cores (against the M1’s seven or eight).
What isn’t clear is whether the new processor will remove any of the M1’s apparent limitations: none of the Apple Silicon Macs can be configured with more than 16GB of RAM or 2TB of storage, they can’t run more than two monitors, and they only have two Thunderbolt connections (the iMac has at most two Thunderbolt ports and two USB-C ports). The higher-end MacBook Pros have traditionally had four Thunderbolt ports, but the addition of MagSafe and HDMI may make that less necessary.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, these new computers seem like everything I’ve ever wanted,” you’re not alone; many people are excited about the reports (though it’s worth noting that rumors don’t often come true). If it turns out that Apple has listened to all of the concerns, the chip shortage might keep these laptops in high demand for a long time.
A PRO-MAC MINI
Gurman also recently reported that a more powerful Mac mini would be released soon, with the same processor as the upgraded MacBook Pros and more ports than the M1-powered Mini currently has. It’s an intriguing rumor because the M1 Mini features USB-A, HDMI, two Thunderbolt ports, and optional 10-gigabit ethernet, making it one of the most versatile M1 Macs. However, the 2018 Intel-based version, which many people mistake for the Mac Mini Pro (because to its space grey color), includes all of that as well as two additional Thunderbolt ports. Given the paucity of speculations regarding a 27-inch iMac, a replacement for the 2018 Mac Mini might be an excellent choice for people searching for a powerful Apple-powered desktop.
Apple is working on a follow-up to its standard, non-Pro AirPods, according to Gurman, Kuo, and Nikkei, and the headphones will have the shorter stems found on their more expensive siblings. AirPods seem like they would have fit in better at Apple’s iPhone presentation, but considering their absence, we might see them on the 18th. There’s still the (hilarious) option that Apple will simply announce them through a press release as it did with the AirPods Pro and Max, but given how successful the originals were, it seems like their successors should receive some stage time.
A MACOS MONTEREY RELEASE DATE
Although iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 have been released, macOS Monterey, which was announced at the same time, is still in beta. It would be surprising if Apple offered new Macs with macOS Big Sur preinstalled, especially since Monterey was announced at WWDC roughly three months ago. I’ll be astonished if Apple doesn’t declare that the new version of macOS will ship with the redesigned MacBook Pros