Apple Set to Announce New Macs Next Week

Posted on October 12, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Mac and macOS with 63 Comments

Apple’s long-anticipated M1X-based Macs should debut at a special event next week which the firm dubs “Unleashed.”

“Please join us for a special Apple Event broadcasting from Apple Park,” an emailed announcement from Apple notes. “Watch it online at apple.com.”

The Unleashed event will be held Monday, October 18 at 10 am PDT/1 pm EDT. Rumors suggest that we’ll get new MacBook Pros in 14- and 16-inch sizes with M1X-based chipsets, a more reasonable selection of new (USB-C) and legacy ports, and a MagSafe power connector.

I assume Apple will discuss macOS Monterrey availability too, since this is the only major platform update that hasn’t yet shipped.

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Comments (63)

63 responses to “Apple Set to Announce New Macs Next Week”

  1. johnnych

    I'm still on the 2017 Macbook Air with the old keyboard and ports on it but I have been saving up and waiting for years for a new proper redesign that the good old Apple laptops used to provide!

  2. matsan

    please don’t take away USB-C charging!

  3. will

    Why does this remind me of the old Intel Inside graphics? I might be wrong, but kinda reminded me of that "look" with the "Unleashed" graphics

  4. mclark2112

    Dang it, there goes my money. Maybe.

  5. StevenLayton

    Had Apple bought the rights to Star Wars, and not Disney, THAT would have been the view from the Millenium Falcon cockpit.

  6. yoshi

    I wish the MacBook Air was being updated, but from everything I've seen it looks like it will just be the Pros.

    • johnnych

      The Macbook Air rumor is that it will get the new M2 chip design (A15 bionic + ARMv9 efficiencies) starting next year, and in new colors too, let's see!

  7. Greg Green

    One of the recent key differences between apple and intel is the relationship between production and press releases.


    intel announced in June 2018 that they planned to have discrete gpus by 2020. Here we are a year after the deadline and still vaporware.


    apple announce June 2020 they’ll split with intel and make their own chips. In November they announced the M1 chip and in April 2021 they had M1 devices for sale.


    apple seems to be much better run at this point.


    • johnnych

      Yup, the thing about Intel is that they are an old, bloated, antiquated titanic of a ship that's slowly sinking over time (in the long run). Their reluctance to innovate, transform, and be agile is also hurting companies that have built on top of them like Apple (and I remember even Microsoft not too long ago was complaining about Intel's hardware stumbles along the way). The only thing left Intel has are these terrible Ads they produce and put out and then some journalists call that "brave" that they are still "fighting back" - lol.

      With the battery life, efficient architecture, and performance that ARM provides I will be glad to retire this old macbook air even though I still appreciate its slim, lightweight, and clean design in the end! :)

      • bluvg

        Not here to defend Intel, but I think that pop culture, anthropomorphic take on Intel just isn't accurate. They made some consequential bets that didn't pan out--Itanium, some process node stuff--but I think "old, antiquated" etc. is misjudging them. Folks are quick to forget (or never knew about) their willingness to explore dumping x86 with Itanium, which was an architecture that seemed very promising but ultimately proved near-impossible to compile against efficiently.


        Especially now that they have an engineer at the helm, don't be too quick to count them out.

    • bluvg

      The discrete GPUs are late, but not vaporware--they announced Arc in August, with Alchemist apparently due in Q1 or Q2 2022. Sounds like it will be comparable to an RTX 3070, though I wonder what the driver and first-batch teething issues will be like.

  8. WaltC

    This information is fully as exciting as watching paint dry...;) Yawn. Paraphrased from Chapter 18, page 1410, of T. Cook's latest book, "When a Cult Leader Dies, Wherefore Goes the Cult?" by S&S, 2021. Apple says:


    "...We charge a lot more, deliver much less! When we at Apple discovered the truth that less is more, it heralded a new day for Apple and our remaining computer customers. We are the go-to company for n00bs, and nobody does a n00b like we do. Just wait until you see our new $2500 monitor stand (If you thought our previous $1k monitor stand was to die for--you'll really die when you see this!), and our brand new $500 mouse that doesn't even need a cord! (All invented by Apple, of course) There's more...if you've been a fan of our famous 1-year hardware warranties, wait until you get a load of our new 6-month warranties! Our 90-day warranties move to 60 days--ah, what love we have coming down the pike! We are the progressive computer hardware packager! This is our pledge to you: If we ever lie to you or mislead you, rest easy and know that we do it for your own good because we at Apple know you better than you know yourself!..."




  9. straker135

    So, in your face Intel! At least that's a cynic's perspective on that branding message. OK. I will however be very interested in real world performance, given how well the first gen M1 seems to perform. It's a pity Microsoft's Surface Pro X is stuck with the Samsung ARM chips which seem to be at least 3 to 4 generations behind. Imagine a Go or Laptop Go with an M1 level chip...

    • johnnych

      I know there are Intel fans on this site but I think a majority of Apple users hold a certain hatred towards Intel due to the fact that there were hardware security problems in the past, processor progress was slowed to the point that it affected the next Apple laptop redesigns, non-futuristic product visions with just more of the same type of technology, etc. etc.

      It'll be nice to see Apple all off Intel some day so we can finally leave them in the x86 past, where they belong!

      • wright_is

        Just as IBM PowerPC chips before Intel on Apple held them back, after an initial period of being the fastest PCs around. The increases in performance and efficiency never reached the promised levels and they were overtaken by Intel.


        Now Intel is coming into the same zone as IBM PowerPC, ARM (and AMD) has overtaken it in performance and efficiency.


        The question of whether Intel can counter Apple's ARM designs is largely irrelevant. Apple won't be switching back to Intel any time soon and they won't be selling their chips to Windows PC makers.


        The more interesting questions are, can Qualcomm also make the same performance leap in laptops that Apple has made? (And, to a lesser extent, on Android) And can Intel make similar performance and efficiency gains, especially compared to AMD.


        At the end of the day, unless you want to switch to Apple and macOS, the M1 chip is irrelevant and, even though the M1 might be theoretically faster than an equivalent Intel chip, those Intel chips are more than fast enough for the majority of users these days. But it does mean that AMD and Apple are keeping Intel on their toes.

        • lvthunder

          What you say is pretty right, but there is one point missing. I am one of those people who aren't in the majority and have measured the better performance of the M1 for the Photoshop work I do. I do hope Intel catches up because I like Surface Book (now Surface Studio Laptop) line a lot better than any of the Macs.

      • Greg Green

        I don’t think that at all about apple users. I think apple users, especially the majority, are as ignorant of what’s inside the box as windows pc users are. For most apple users (and windows users) the shiny outside is as far as their interests and knowledge go.

        • wright_is

          I think, for most, it is what it can actually do that is important, as opposed to what is inside or how it looks. They also play a part, but being able to do your job is of most importance.

        • VancouverNinja

          I think you are bang on with your assessment. There is a segment of consumers that want the "best" devices but don't do any research and have more money than knowledge. This however is a smaller segment of buyers overall - the reason Apple's market share for pc's never really escapes it own gravity of less than 10% market share. Those who dig at what they are getting for their dollars end up with a Windows PC and the irony is that that they are getting the better platform.

    • bluvg

      Yeah, the M1 is really the best CPU out there at the moment unless you need > 16 GB RAM or a crazy high core count. There are some inherent RAM scalability issues with their current design, which is also a key reason for the crazy performance. If they hit 32 GB+ with the M1X at reasonable price/availability, few people would have reason to buy anything else (other than macOS).


      According to pundits, Intel plans to catch and surpass Apple around 2024-2025, which is a rather long wait. Little bit sad for the PC world, but like the early days of the IBM Power-based Macs, it will pass.

      • SvenJ

        "Intel plans to catch and surpass Apple around 2024-2025", assuming of course that Apple stands still.

        • bluvg

          Not really. Intel is not stupid, they know who is behind the core manufacturing of their CPUs (TSMC), they know the key players behind the designs (a surprisingly small number of people lead these designs, e.g. Jim Keller, who was at Intel after Apple, AMD, and Tesla and whose company (PA Semi) was purchased by Apple to get into CPU manufacturing), they know the main reasons for M1's performance advantages (on-chip RAM primarily, ARM, and TSMC's N5 process), etc.


          Apple will certainly get better, but on-chip RAM is a one-trick pony and has some limitations. Anyone in the industry knows the variables involved.

        • Greg Green

          I think this is the closest intel will be to apple for the next few years as apple pulls away. It’ll take a stumble by apple or a major breakthrough for intel to make the race even again.

          • bluvg

            I don't think that characterization is right. The M1's performance is not as mysterious as some think. Apple can only play the on-chip RAM card once. Intel and AMD can play it too (AMD is going that direction already with V-Cache; with the M1, essentially all of that 16GB RAM is like a giant L3 cache, instead of "up to 192MB" with V-Cache). But if you want > 16 GB... buy two Macs. I'm sure Apple will address that limit (maybe with M1X?), but on-chip RAM has different scalability and cost/yield issues than with traditional architectures.


            The advantages of ARM is something that may actually benefit Linux if Microsoft doesn't invest more in WoA. But Intel has expressed willingness to revisit ARM and pretty much everything, including outsourcing production. This is an existential threat for them, not Apple. I will not be surprised if they catch up.

      • rob_segal

        Intel's latest chips are really good and the average person won't complain about either option. Both are fast enough with good enough battery life.

        • jdawgnoonan

          I have two current generation Intel based systems running the latest iteration, and have also experienced M1 when setting up my mother in laws new laptop. For the things 99% of computer users do they will notice no performance difference but maybe a few hours less battery life.

        • Greg Green

          It’s a great time to be a pc user, all options are great: intel, ryzen, apple, nvidia, radeon. The only hang up now is availability.

      • red101

        Apple is not IBM. Apple also has more money than Intel and IBM.


        Apple is a different beast now. Intel is way behind Apple in efficiency.

        • bluvg

          The IBM reference wasn't meant to compare Apple and IBM as companies, just the state of the CPU industry when Apple moved from Motorola to IBM CPUs when the Power Mac G5 made a big splash. Apple's marketing called the G5 "the world's fastest personal computer" and promised more to come. A university also used hundreds of G5s clustered together to hit #3 of the TOP500 that year.


          It looked bleak for the PC world at the time.

        • wright_is

          No, and that wasn't implied.


          Apple used IBM's Power RISC chips for several years, after they switched from Motorola and before they switched to Intel.


          IBM Power chips were, at the time way ahead of Intel, but failed to deliver the long term promise and is why Apple switched to Intel in the mid 2000s.


          It will be interesting to see whether Apple can keep the innovation ahead of Intel going forward this time.

      • seanphafer

        Unless you need CUDA for GPU rendering (Octane, Redshift). Also the everything on one chip (CPU, GPU, RAM) means if one of those go, you need to replace the entire chip + no upgradeability.

  10. blue77star

    I tried M1 and there is nothing special about it. Sticking with AMD/Intel

    • johnnych

      Not impressed with the all-week laptop battery life I see? :)

      • blue77star

        Least thing I care about.

      • VancouverNinja

        The problem with anything Apple PC is macOS - it is not even close to how good Windows is. Throwing down good money after bad to own what? An overpriced pc with a lame operating system? No thanks for that privilege. And if someone is going to throw down serious money may as well get a killer Surface offering rather than a purposefully limited system in order to make people buy other Apple devices.

        • wright_is

          It depends on what you are doing and what you are used to. macOS has big benefits in some areas over Windows and vice-versa. The same with Linux.


          I've used all of them extensively over the years and I prefer Windows for many "business" tasks and general peripheral availability/compatibility, for creativity based software, macOS is still better and workflows are better supported under macOS in many cases and many day-to-day tasks and concepts are simpler/more complete.


          Just look at Windows slapdash interface. There are still parts of it that date from the late 90s and, despite XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and now 11, haven't been overhauled to look like they belong in modern Windows, they might have rounded window corners, but the actual tool is still visibly last century. And there are bits of Windows 7 still in there as well. Dark mode only works partially. The list goes on.


          Apple usually has a much better eye for detail and ensuring everything looks like it belongs.


          I use Windows day-to-day at work and Linux at home, at the moment.

          • VancouverNinja

            Hi Wright_is, You are generally pretty even in your feedback. When it comes to OSs however macOS is very poor compared to Windows; especially Windows 11. Everything from file and hard drive access, screen resolution management, windows management/multi window management, system security, and the lack of any type of screen touch input or pen input simply leave macOS so far behind Windows 11. As far as for creatives why would anyone buy a macOS based PC? The hype over arm based Apple silicon is over the top and not worth having to use macOS for the benefits. Apple has been living off the false belief that Mac's are superior when they are woefully behind Windows based PCs for innovation and features. I would argue strongly that the best pc for a creative is a Windows 11 PC in 2021 and not an Apple iMac.

        • Donte

          Everyone has an opinion but Windows is complete garbage these days.


          Anything past Windows 7, which was just a giant patch to fix the woes of Vista has been a train wreck. Other than PC gamers, what consumers actually like Windows these days? They have either removed or relaced all of the consumer apps with complete junk. The photos and movie app is a disaster. Mail is a joke that keeps getting worse. Gone are all music services because Microsoft pulled out of that market. If you own a Android phone (god help you) then there is a some intergration but only if you own the right kind, because again Microsoft dumped Windows phone/mobile.


          Windows 10 never got finished IMHO. The UI was never complete with old stuff all over the place. Compared to MacOS DPI scaling in Windows is horrible. Windows 10 was constantly adding junk like 3D builder, Xbox Gaming bars and apps that changed multiple times in the last 5 years, that news bar, people thing in the task bar, the at-tab recents or whatever it was, chaning the snippet tool to something no one users and then removing stuff as well, that that alt tab thing, and the people thing. Skype is still there...or is Teams the new kid on the block. Both get updated....no consumer uses Teams and Skype is dying. Oh yeah Cortona is gone now I think. Oh...and OneNote...which one do we use????? The old 2016 version now new again...or the Windows 10 version which is going away....wait no its not...well maybe????


          And then we have Windows 11...puked all over the top of Windows 10. Just dandy stuff.


          MacOS is consistent through and through. DPI scaling is great. The built in consumer apps are good/great and the ecosystem (iphone, ipad, watch, music TV) is second to none. Add to that the migration to the "M" series chips has been fantastic. Better performing hardware that uses way less power and hardly needs to be cooled. It gives fantastic battery life. 3rd party developers inlcuding Microsoft have ported their apps in record time. If M1X or whatever it is going to be called is better than the M1.....man Apple is going to RUN away from Microsoft when it comes to consumer computing.

          • VancouverNinja

            Guess you don't really know you are talking about when it comes to OSs.


            Windows 11 destroys macOS - it is simply easier to use, and much better designed OS. As for doing entertainment, I will take Windows 11 over macOS any day of the week.


            So you can continue in you Apple Happiness bubble - nothing wrong with that. You did pay for it after all. However you are using an inferior OS to have the privilege of using an Apple PC that in itself offers less than the average Window PC.


            • curtisspendlove

              Windows 11 destroys macOS - it is simply easier to use, and much better designed OS. As for doing entertainment, I will take Windows 11 over macOS any day of the week.


              Preferences aside (look and feel are complete opinion)…


              Are you seriously trying to argue, on a site filled with technical readers, that Windows is better than BSD?


              Youre really sticking with that?

              • bluvg

                Not defending VancouverNinja's position specifically, but if ever put up to it, I think Dave Cutler and team would be able to argue technical merits of NT over other OSes quite convincingly. All have advantages and disadvantages.

                • Donte

                  I would love to see that discussion complete with technical merits. Hopefully they do not start with the registry.


                  At some point does Microsoft just move to a *nix OS? Or does Windows for consumers just die off at some point. I mean they keep adding more and more Linux Support to Windows, including the Android stack now, even their own version in Azure that runs their software based network equipment. I also recently read that there are more Linux VM's than Windows VM's in Azure. I believe Marry Jo made that same statement on Windows Weekly.

                • bluvg

                  "When will Microsoft just move to *nix?"


                  This has been asked and answered many, many times. Most people don't realize NT is VMS re-implemented, and is a more modern OS than *nix (Helen Custer's Inside Windows NT book is a good backstory). In many ways, the general-purpose OSes have moved towards a common end; e.g., Linux, NT, and macOS have all moved towards a hybrid kernel--Linux from the monolithic side, NT and macOS from the microkernel side. Most of the complaints about Windows are in userland. There is no point or good reason for a move to *nix--it would be a huge waste of time, cause massive compatibility and ecosystem issues, and it wouldn't result in a "better" OS either at either the system or user level. That said, criticism of the registry is largely overheated sniping by people that don't understand it well. Some of it is due to abuse.


                  The Azure use of Linux is not for end users. And FWIW, those Linux VMs are running on top of an NT-based hypervisor.

              • VancouverNinja

                "Windows is better than BSD?"


                What are you referring to? If it is the Blue Screen of Death I, nor anyone in my company experiences that since Windows 10 came out. But I can tell you we have had to take in two iMacs that completely crashed to the Apple store over the last two years that were the worst flame outs I have ever encountered.


                Windows 11 is next level and I solidly stand by the fact that it is an easier OS for the average person to use. It is clearer and simpler to understand than macOS. And it is by far a more capable OS.

                • pecosbob04

                  As any techie would know; Berkley Software/Standard Distribution a flavor of unix. For a noob Google (or on a good day even bing) is your friend. NEXTSTEP precursor to MacOs was based on FreeBSD a derivative of BSD.

                • curtisspendlove

                  What are you referring to? If it is the Blue Screen of Death.


                  I find it pretty funny after you told someone that they don’t know their OSs that you think I’m referencing to a BSoD when talking about macOS vs NT kernels.


                  I’m, of course, pointing out that you are comparing the windows kernel against a modified BSD kernel.


                  As others have said, the MT kernel is fine. But I wouldn’t call it superior to any *nix based kernel.

                • curtisspendlove

                  Windows 11 is next level and I solidly stand by the fact that it is an easier OS for the average person to use. It is clearer and simpler to understand than macOS. And it is by far a more capable OS.


                  I’m a bit confused. The standard dig on people who like Apple products is that they are stupid sheep that buy inferior products.


                  Yet, macOS is so hard to use, those stupid sheep should clearly not be smart enough to figure out such a complex operating system and would be returning their Macs in droves because they can’t do anything with them…


                  Seems that millions of people use them just fine. And I’d like to know your criteria for the “more capable OS” claim. (It certainly isn’t from a web developer’s point of view.)

        • matsan

          As a PHP, JavaScript, ESP8266 hardware and Docker programmer macOS is simply the best OS of the two. Linux would be the better choice technically but lacks in DPI-scaling, hardware support and the deal-breaker for me: Office.

          I left Windows 6 years ago due to issues with some of my tools and the repeated automatic update of an HP display driver that caused Java run-time to crash.

        • txag

          Always interesting to hear the windows fan boy perspective.

        • curtisspendlove

          Again. This is your opinion. And that is fine. But my opinion is the opposite.


          And I’m pretty ticked at Windows at the moment. An update to 11 tossed the PC into an endless boot loop. (Ironically I could boot fine into my Linux partition on a separate NVMe drive.)


          I had to wipe the Windows partition and completely reinstall. It is currently on a Windows 11 diet. (And it’s perfectly capable of running it. Green light from PC Health. In fact it’s hilarious to me that I’ve been running it on 11 in the Insiders program throughout the beta. And it picks a couple weeks after production release to crap the bed.)


          I’m not impressed. I’ve never had a Mac enter an endless reboot loop. :: shrug ::


          My only problems with my Macs is that they are old. I think it’s time to upgrade them.


          I was interested in a new Surface but I’ve heard a couple of tales of issues with them locking up and rebooting. So we shall see how widespread it is.


          You’d think they could have that stuff fixed by revision 8 of the Surface Pro.



          • VancouverNinja

            I have already got the Surface Go 3 and it is so much better than my iPad Air. Apple really messed up the interface for setting, widgets, and search many updates back. I think Windows 11 is clearly targeted at mobile. It is really so much nicer to use.


            I also am using the Surface Studio Laptop and it is simply amazing. On either device I have had zero issues after about a week or so of use. The setup of the systems was the best setup experience I have seen yet. I think MS is nailing it on all fronts right now.

            • wright_is

              I've had Windows tablets (Surface Pro & Samsung ATIV), Android tablets (various Lenovo, Samsung and Kindle Fire) and iPads over the years.


              I have to say, for general use, the iPad runs rings around the Surface and the Samsung, Android as a tablet platform is poor anyway, because of the app situation.


              The only place that the iPad loses out is with apps like Kindle and Audible, compared to Android. You cannot buy new content in those apps, like you can on Android.

              • VancouverNinja

                I fully agree with you that, until Windows 11 hit, iPad was the best solution for a tablet. That's why it was the only remaining Apple device I retained. Windows 11 changes that situation. It is cleaner, easy to use, and overall a nicer user interface (more logical) in my opinion than iPad iOS. It's also going to be superior for total apps within 6 months when the Android support launches. For me I can't see a need to own or buy and iPad in the future.

          • wright_is

            Yes, I'm waiting to see what next week brings, in terms of new Macs and chips.


            If there is an M1X mini, I will get one. If there isn't, I might spring of the M1 version, but still undecided, after being burnt by a 1st generation Intel Mac...

        • rob_segal

          MacOS has its advantages and disadvantages over Windows and vice versa. It depends on what the individual wants.

        • jdawgnoonan

          That is a little harsh, I prefer Windows to Mac OS, but Mac OS really is not a bad OS and it is less restrictive than many Windows folks believe.

          • VancouverNinja

            Not meaning to be harsh. There are so many silly comments regarding Windows at times on this site that it is over the top. I post based on the facts of the products; as I can best assess them from my own personal and business use experiences. I am unwilling to spend top dollar for second best products but I am willing to throw it down for truly the best experiences or great innovations. I picked up the original Surface Duo not because it was anywhere near as good as an iPhone but due to the innovations it brought to me for work cases. To that end it has delivered nicely and we are getting a decent amount of Duo 2s for our executive team on the 20th or 21st of this month. If I pickup a single screen smartphone now they feel weird - like holding a candy bar instead of a proper wider screen that I am now used to. I won't go back to that form factor unless I have no option in the future.

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