Despite the challenges of trying to design and market products in the midst of a global health pandemic, Apple's momentum continues. After a busy fall schedule with the launch of new models of iPads, iPhones, the Apple Watch, and smart speakers, as well as record-breaking Mac sales, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant is now turning its attention to the Mac for its finale kick-off event slated for 2020. Join us as we bring you all the news from Apple's Keynote announcement on this live blog. Keep updating this post to get the latest updates.
At its global developer conference earlier this summer, the Mac manufacturer signaled to developers and fans that it would begin the transition from Intel silicon to integrate its custom ARM-based processors into its computers. Such a move would bring Apple's various computing products – from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops – together into a single core chipset. Today, Apple's efforts will come to fruition as the first MacBook laptops with Apple's newest silicon are expected to be announced. Apple will single-handedly take over some of the biggest names in the PC industry – from Intel processors to AMD and Nvidia graphics – with laptops powered by a new M1 silicon.
Before today's unveiling, some of the perceived benefits of Apple's A14 series include faster performance, significantly improved battery life and, like the iPad, the mobile contemporary of the Mac, the ability to for the first time have an integrated mobile broadband modem on a MacOS laptop for ubiquitous 4G to see LTE or 5G internet access. This vision doesn't just apply to Apple, however. Microsoft and its PC partners had already teamed up with Qualcomm to bring Windows to ARM on the always-connected PC platform to drive innovation and challenge Intel in the mobile space. All of these are meant to help you stay more productive and get things done faster. Unlike its PC competitors, however, Apple will control both the software and hardware futures and the company will leverage its ecosystem to convince iPhone users to upgrade or switch to a new silicon-powered Apple Mac .
One more thing…
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the event will focus on the Mac. "More customers are choosing the Mac than ever," he said, noting that the Mac had its best year ever, with 50% of buyers new to the platform. Cook also highlighted the ways the Mac can be used as a content creation and productivity tool.
"It's great to see people use the Mac to do amazing things," he said, announcing that the first Mac with Apple silicon is here now.
Apple's new silicon: M1 for the Mac
"It's time for the Mac to take a giant leap forward," said Apple, who is starting the new silicon that is at the heart of Apple's other existing technologies such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Apple is developing a family of new chips that will span various products over the next few years. On the Mac, this new chip is called M1 – "a stunning chip that ushers in a whole new era for the Mac."
M1 is a single SoC for the Mac that integrates the processor, GPU, security and I / O components. It has a unified storage architecture for high bandwidth, low latency, and better performance. M1 is based on Apple's 5nm node with 16 billion transistors.
M1 is an 8-core chipset with four high-performance cores and four high-performance cores. The efficient cores deliver one-tenth the performance and still offer great performance, Apple said. The company said the efficient performance is similar to a dual-core MacBook Air and uses significantly less power. Apple claimed this would give the best CPU performance per watt. Compared to the Intel-based Air, Apple has achieved a three-fold performance improvement per watt.
With the GPU cores, Apple said the 8-core GPU is in a class of its own – twice the graphics performance and a third of the performance of a PC chip.
Other integrated technologies include an advanced 16-core neural engine capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second for machine learning. It also has a safe enclave for world-class security, Apple said. There's an advanced signal processor, support for Thunderbolt and USB 4, and more.
Apple claimed that the M1 is the best chip it has ever made.
MacOS Big Sur is designed to maximize M1
"For the first time we could develop macOS for our own silicon," said Craig Federighi of Apple.
Thanks to the unified memory and advanced power management, the Mac can handle high-performance workloads even more efficiently. Security measures such as hardware-verified secure start are also included.
Software for M1 Macs
"We have optimized every app for M1," said Apple. "Final Cut Pro can perform tasks like rendering a complex timeline up to six times faster."
Universal apps help Apple transition from Intel to Apple Silicon. Developers can create universal apps for older Macs with Intel and a new silicon-powered Mac from Apple. Adobe and Omni Group are among the developers who create universal apps, Apple emphasized. Even without a universal app update, Apple's Rosetta helps the M1 Mac run Intel MacOS software.
In a highlight that featured various developers, Apple suggested that creating universal apps would be quick and easy. This is critical to the success of the company's transition from Intel.
The first Mac with M1: The new MacBook Air
Apple's MacBook Air is already the world's best-selling 13-inch notebook, and Apple says the new MacBook Air with M1 offers even better improvements with 3.5 times faster performance. The company claimed graphics performance was five times faster. Apple said the M1 Air is faster than 98% faster than PC laptops and does it without a fan.
Apple claimed to have 15 hours of wireless Internet browsing and 18 hours of video playback – the longest ever recorded on the MacBook Air. Battery life can be up to twice as long on a single charge.
The M1 Air offers better camera performance thanks to the integrated image signal processor. The display also supports a large P3 color space for true-to-life images, according to Apple.
"All of these powerful features come in a sleek, wedge-shaped design," said Apple, noting that the laptop retains its traditional shape.
The Air starts at the same price of $ 999 for consumers and $ 899 for education customers.
The MacBook Mini also gets an M1!
The second Mac to get the new M1 processor is Apple's popular Mac Mini.
"Mac Mini delivers the Mac desktop experience in an incredible form factor," said Apple. Now the Mac Mini is getting a performance boost thanks to the M1 processor, which the company calls "seismic shift," which a desktop can do.
Apple has achieved 3x CPU performance and 6x GPU performance with the new Mini. Now developers can use the Mini to perform intense creative workloads in scenarios previously unimaginable. Apple claimed the Mini was 5x faster than the best-selling PC desktops.
"The Mac Mini will charge innovative features powered by (machine learning)," Apple said of the M1's neural engine. A new thermal design ensures that the Mini stays cool and quiet. In contrast to the Air, the new Mini has a fan.
The Mini starts at $ 699, a $ 100 drop in price from the previous model with Intel, according to Apple.
M1 goes pro with MacBook Pro
Apple has also updated its 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor.
Apple claimed CPU performance was 2.8 times faster. With Xcode, developers can create codes 3x faster than before. The GPU is 5x faster, Apple said.
Compared to Windows laptops, Apple stated that the new M1-Pro is up to three times faster.
And thanks to the neural engine, ML is up to 11x faster than the previous generation. Like the Mini, the MacBook Pro also has an "active cooling system" with fans. Apple claimed 17 hours of wireless Internet browsing and 20 hours of video playback for the longest battery life ever on the Mac.
The studio microphone array and better image signal processing enable you to have better video conferencing. The new Pro can be connected to Apple's expensive Pro XDR display with a resolution of 6K.
The new Pro starts at $ 1,299 for everyone and just $ 1,199 for education customers.
In its presentation, Apple called the new MacBook Pro "the ultimate expression of what the M1 chip can do".
With M1, the energy consumption is reduced by up to 60% when using the products.
All new M1 products are available for pre-order today and will ship next week, Apple said.
"This is by far the most powerful Mac lineup we've ever had," said Apple. Intel's transition will take a few years.
This post will be updated regularly during Apple's keynote.