Apple’s WWDC event this year was filled to the brim with big software announcements, including new versions of iOS and macOS, but the rumored MacBook Pro revamp didn’t happen. However, Apple may have accidentally revealed its plans in that regard. Among the tags on Apple’s YouTube stream of the event were “M1X MacBook Pro” and “M1X.”
As the event approached, sources like Bloomberg said redesigned MacBook Pros could be on the way this summer. No one knew if the unveiling would happen at WWDC, but it looks like Apple at least considered it based on those tags. Since someone went to the trouble of adding them, we can safely surmise that Apple is indeed developing new MacBook Pros with improved ARM chips.
Apple took a big step away from x86 late last year when it announced the ARM-powered MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The M1 chip from those devices has since made its way to the iPad Pro, as well. The M1 is an impressive piece of engineering with a better mix of performance and battery life than current Intel laptop chips. However, it’s still limited in a few frustrating ways. For instance, you can only do one external display with the current M1 laptops.
The apparent existence of the M1X makes sense — Apple would definitely want a more powerful chip for its higher-end laptops. The “X” naming scheme also matches what Apple has done with its A-series ARM chips for iPhones and older iPads, suggesting this will be an evolutionary step for the company’s new system-on-a-chip. The rumors have pointed to new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro units that bring back popular features like the SD card slot, HDMI port, and some version of the MagSafe connector. As for that new chip, it’s supposed to have twice as many CPU and GPU cores. It could also support up to 64GB of RAM.
So, those hoping for a more powerful ARM-based Mac will get their wish. It’ll just take a little longer. More than likely, Apple will have another dedicated event this summer to reveal the new laptops. It’s possible, though unlikely in my opinion, that the new macs might not debut until the fall iPhone event.
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