Apple unveils new Mac computers designed with homemade M1 chips

Apple’s breakup from Intel is finally happening. The iPhone maker on Tuesday unveiled a trio of Macs built around its homemade chip, dub...



Apple’s breakup from Intel is finally happening.

The iPhone maker on Tuesday unveiled a trio of Macs built around its homemade chip, dubbed the M1. Apple said the long-awaited switch will allow its new hardware to deliver cutting edge speed and performance while drastically improving the battery life of its MacBooks.

The first Apple devices to get the new chip are the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, as well as the Mac Mini, which received its first update since 2018.

The new devices look virtually identical to their Intel-powered predecessors, with all the major changes happening on the inside. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air is “faster than 98 percent of PCs sold in the past year.” The Air’s battery will also last 6 hours longer than its predecessor’s, topping out at 18 hours of video playback.

The Air will be able to achieve this performance while at the same time scrapping its built-in cooling fan, which Apple says will result in a completely silent computer.

Apple boasts that the new MacBook Air with the M1 chip is “faster than 98 percent of PCs sold in the past year.” The Air’s battery will also last 6 hours longer than its predecessors, topping out at 18 hours of video playback. The new Pro will have double the battery life of current models, reaching 20 hours in optimal conditions.

The new MacBook Air starts at $999, while the Pro will cost $1,299 and the Mac Mini will be $699. All three models are eligible for a $100 discount for students. Unlike the iPhone 12, which hit stores several weeks ago, the new Mac lineup will still include a power adapter in the box.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company had announced the switch to its own silicon back in June, a move that dramatically shrunk its relationship with Intel, which has since 2006 provided the processors for Macs. With its new trio of M1-enabled Macs, Apple now uses its own processor designs in its computers, iPhones and iPads.

The chips will give software developers who make apps for the iPhone and iPad new access to its laptop and desktop computers for the first time, with software chief Craig Federighi saying that apps will now work across products with minimal input on the developer side of the equation.

“This has been a vision 15 years in the making in Cupertino and represents a major step forward for Cook & Co. to control more of its hardware ecosystem going forward,” Wedbush Securities said in an investor note following the event. “We view the chip announcement as the first step of many more on the horizon . . . as [Apple] takes the reins of its architecture.”

Apple’s full transition to homemade silicon won’t be complete until 2022, however. CEO Tim Cook previously announced that there are still a few computers with Intel chips coming down the pike that he is “really excited” about, and that Apple will continue to provide software updates for Macs with Intel chips for “years to come.”

Indeed, the reaction on social media was subdued compared to most Apple keynotes, with most of the excitement coming in reaction to Apple’s surprise decision to bring back the PC Guy character, played by actor John Hodgman in the company’s popular ad campaign, for a cameo appearance at the end of the keynote.

The product rollout arrived less than a month after it announced four new iPhone models and a small, new HomePod Mini smart speaker, and two months after it unveiled new iPad and Apple Watch models.

Shares of Apple were up just a quarter of a percent Tuesday afternoon, at $116.62.

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Newsrust: Apple unveils new Mac computers designed with homemade M1 chips
Apple unveils new Mac computers designed with homemade M1 chips
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