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Apple’s October Event: Expecting the New MacBook Pro and AirPods

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According to industry analysts and other Apple watchers, the company will move to powering Mac computers with its own chips and will add more to the lineup at a streaming event on Monday. Standard AirPods updates are also possible.

Last year’s MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro feature the M1 chip, which is relative to the A chip found in the iPhone. However, it looks like a replaced Intel-powered laptop. That’s why the event is expected to feature a brand new MacBook Pro, which may have an improved, higher-contrast 14-inch and 16-inch display. (The first redesigned M1 Mac was a candy-colored 24-inch iMac released in May.)

Apple called the event “unleashed,” and the announcement included Starfield’s visuals, such as those seen when the Millennium Falcon jumped into hyperspace. This suggests that more powerful chips are also under development.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on future products.

Apple continues to use Intel chips in high-end machines. “Unleashed” can mean freed from Intel, but as Apple first announced, a full migration can take two years.

The architecture of the M1 chip is similar to the iPhone chip, so low-end M1 Macs, including my own MacBook Air, have proven to be cooler and more reliable than their Intel-powered predecessors.

However, to win customers for powerful machines such as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple must support processor- and graphics-intensive tasks such as video encoding, data analysis, and 3D modeling on its chips. Need to be demonstrated. .. (Category: Never do it on a MacBook Air.) This means convincing developers of this demanding software to write code optimized for their chips, technical analysis and consulting. Patrick Moorhead, founder of the company Moor Insights & Strategy, said. Until that happens, the new MacBook Pro will not be for extreme power users.

“True experts who make money from intense video and intense audio find it difficult for Apple to get past them,” he said. He believes Apple may continue to sell Intel-powered Macs through enterprise channels even after pulling them out of their retail pages.

According to Moorhead, major tests are likely to take place when Apple finally replaces the silicon in the Intel Xeon-powered Mac Pro, but this week isn’t expected.

The iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 have longer battery life and new camera tricks. iPhone 13 Pro delivers a brighter, faster display. The Apple Watch has grown to a larger screen in Series 7, and Apple has revamped the iPad Mini. WSJ’s Joanna Stern emphasizes the fall lineup.Photo Illustration: Laura Kammerman

AirPods, a very popular wire-free earphone, also fits into the “unleashed” theme. The company finally renewed its standard $ 159 bud in March 2019 and has been focusing on the more expensive AirPods Pro and AirPods Max ever since. Third-generation AirPods may have new designs and support for Apple’s 3D sound technology, “spatial audio.” Many Apple customers will not care if the new one is somewhat water resistant like the AirPods Pro.

What they don’t have is a health feature that my colleague Rolfe Winkler wrote last week. In-ear thermometers and health features such as posture alerts and hearing enhancement, if any, may not come for years. Apple may change that plan, according to the people he spoke to.

There are few other surprises from Apple. “With the Apple TV, the entire 13th generation iPhone launch, and the improvements made to the iPad, there aren’t many updates on a traditional schedule,” Moorhead said.

Apple’s event begins at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. I will update this article in more detail.

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Write in Wilson Rothman at Wilson.Rothman@wsj.com

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Apple’s October Event: Expecting the New MacBook Pro and AirPods

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