Apple November 2020 event

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Apple’s set to release a 13″ MBA and 13″ / 16″ MBP next week, all powered by Apple Silicon. Announcing a 16″ running Apple Silicon Macs means Apple is seriously confident about their chip prowess

“Apple and overseas suppliers are ramping up production of three new Mac laptops with Apple processors: new 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, according to people familiar with the matter. Beyond the processor switch, the devices won’t have significant design changes.”

“The first Mac processors from Apple will be based on the A14 chip found in the latest iPhones and iPad Air, and tests inside Apple indicate improved power efficiency over the Intel parts they are replacing. The new machines will also have Apple-designed graphics and machine-learning processors.”

Here is what Apple is working on for the future (2021 and beyond):

“The company is already at work on a redesigned iMac, the company’s all-in-one desktop, and a new Mac Pro model, Apple’s highest-end desktop, other people familiar with the company’s plans said.”

“Apple engineers are currently developing a new Mac Pro that looks like the current design at about half the size. It’s unclear if that Mac will replace the current Mac Pro or if it’s an additional model.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-02/apple-to-hold-nov-10-event-to-announce-macs-with-own-chips?sref=9hGJlFio

Comments (26)

26 responses to “Apple November 2020 event”

  1. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    Here’s hoping they bring back the Powerbook branding. I always felt MacBook was a little lame.


    I know it won’t happen, but I can still hope. Maybe at least MacBook will be replaced.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Surely it would be ARMbook, not Powerbook? They aren't using PowerPC chips...

      • Avatar

        Paul Thurrott

        Apple conspicuously does not call these ARM chips, they use Apple Silicon, which is ... whatever. A silly name, I guess. Anyway ... AppleBook? AppleBook Pro?
        • Avatar

          wright_is

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          And Qualcomm call it Snapdragon... ARM sells the underlying architecture and instruction set, each manufacturer takes that base and optimizes it to their needs.

          • Avatar

            jackwagon

            In reply to wright_is:

            As I understand it, Qualcomm have sort of fluctuated between custom cores and either stock cores or enhanced stock cores. Apple's cores, on the other hand, are perhaps not as similar to the stock cores. (As far as I recall, from the A6 onward, Apple started doing custom cores; previous chips used stock ARM cores)

        • Avatar

          F4IL

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          I wouldn't call it conspicuous.


          Unlike their previous (PowerPC -> Intel) transition, this time they are transitioning their entire platform, including GPU, networking and everything else to their own stack. They are using the ARM Instruction Set Architecture but this only scratches the surface of what they're doing this time around.


          Their GPU, network stack, security enclave, signal image processing and everything else on that chip is from Apple not ARM so, it makes sense to call it Apple Silicon IMHO.

          • Avatar

            bkkcanuck

            In reply to F4IL:

            I will wait to see if they transition their entire platform -- or if the pro model has the option of non-Apple dGPU (i.e. AMD). People assume that they are since Apple published the support for only Apple Graphics for the yet to be released Apple silicon Macs... but Apple does not and will likely never pre-announce anything anything... and the current and only Apple silicon Macs in the wild don't support anything but Apple graphics. We likely will find out very soon if the new Macs support eGPUs that exist now. I am hoping that Apple Graphics will be amazing and make the need of 3rd Party graphics cards at the top end not necessary, but I will wait to see. I do think they will outperform on the built in graphics in mobile devices such as laptops.


    • Avatar

      bkkcanuck

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      As mentioned it is not a PowerPC chip, so it is not a PowerBook... it is not an ARM chip (only the ARM instruction set) so it is not an ARMBook... MacBook fits better now -- since it will be really a MacChip.


      I don't expect I will be buying this years model, as it likely will be soon replaced with a fuller rebuild next year which if I bought a MacBook would be a better design (this years design sounds like for the most part it will just be a brain transplant into an old body).


      What interests me is the Bloomberg/Gurman rumour that Apple is working on a Mac Pro Mini... that would be interesting to me... if not that I might just go for a MacBook upgrade next year when they are suppose to include a better display etc.

      • Avatar

        curtisspendlove

        In reply to bkkcanuck:

        “What interests me is the Bloomberg/Gurman rumour that Apple is working on a Mac Pro Mini... that would be interesting to me... if not that I might just go for a MacBook upgrade next year when they are suppose to include a better display etc.”


        Agreed. A Mac Pro Mini is a very intriguing concept. I’m quite glad I’ve held off upgrading my MacBook.


        I’m going to have to have my wife hide the debit card next Tuesday. I really don’t want to buy a rev A version of Apple Silicon but I’m so very curious.


        It *might* be worth it if they have an Air that hits the sub$1k price point.


        It’d be amazing if they could hit like sub$800. But I’m not holding my breath on that.

  2. Avatar

    endoftheroad

    Is it possible that re: an Apple Silicon Mac Air next week, they take the existing chassis, make a few minor tweaks and introduce the base laptop for $899 with the same RAM and storage as the Intel version. Everybody thinks, that is OK, but not great. Then for the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Apple sells it for $799. They advertise it a lot and sell the heck out of it. It looks good, Apple looks good, and the Apple Silicon Mac Air takes a lot of attention away from their iPhone story, which at this time is that Apple can not get the parts they wanted for an Apple iPhone blowout. The word on the street says Apple has ordered a lot of Apple Silicon CPUs. Comments?

    • Avatar

      jchampeau

      In reply to EndoftheRoad:

      I think the starting prices will remain $999 for the Air and $1299 for the 13" Pro, and go down to maybe $1999 for the 16" Pro. I think switching to their own silicon is an exercise in cost reduction, not price reduction to achieve increased market share at the low end.

    • Avatar

      bkkcanuck

      In reply to EndoftheRoad:

      I would not be surprised if Apple has one machine that hits $799, I would expect at least $899 as the highest price for the lowest model. Not sure how much a retailer can discount from there (they won't if it is in short supply obviously). We only have a few more days, so it is really not worth guessing too much. If the low end model is MacBook Air and as such actually uses the A14X processor -- then they will order as much chips as they can get fabbed this year (Apple has contracted all the 5nm fab capacity this year) -- since they will eventually be used (and the iPad Pro uses that chip). If it is a Mac Specific chip then buying only a few million makes sense since they will sell millions of MacBook Air over the next year). [total unit sales of all computers last year was 12 million, so I would expect at least a couple million 'Air' will be sold.

  3. Avatar

    curtisspendlove

    appleinsider.com/articles/20/11/05/a14x-bionic-allegedly-benchmarked-days-before-apple-silicon-mac-event


    No idea if this really is a valid benchmark for a MacBook or not.


    But if so...it isn’t a landslide, but it’s a solid improvement.


    If they drop an Air (or plain ol’ 12” MacBook update) that can beat every current Pro; it’s going to be interesting.

    • Avatar

      bkkcanuck

      In reply to curtisspendlove:

      Since the A14X by it's naming is an iPad Pro chip and Apple has stated there will be Apple silicon chips specifically for Macs ... I take those rumours with a grain of salt. However I could see them being used in something like a low end Macbook (i.e. sub $800), but I expect they will deliver more custom chips for the Mac lineup.

  4. Avatar

    Tim Speciale

    The idea here is to drive prices down...right? RIIIIGHT?

    • Avatar

      curtisspendlove

      In reply to Tim:

      Hahahahahahaha!!!


      (I hope so, but that isn’t like Apple. My only hope is that they do want to show off a bit so they’ll tout “less expensive” as a win their own chipsets can bring.)


      But the skeptic in me says that iPhones and iPads are currently using Apple Silicon, and they aren’t any cheaper than other offerings in the same space.

      • Avatar

        Tim Speciale

        In reply to curtisspendlove:


        Yeah, you right. I should say


        "The idea here is to drive costs down..."

        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to Tim:


          Yeah, you right. I should say

          "The idea here is to drive costsdown..."


          Yup! Bingo! :D


          I enjoy my Apple products, but rarely has Apple ever given any of their incredible margin up.


          I can only hope they actually decide there is a good marketing reason to do so.


          However, they have a lot of Intel Macs they need to get out of the back channel so making the ARM Macs considerably cheaper makes those less attractive to the casual purchaser.


          This is actually one reason I do think a tiny bit of distinction might make sense. For instance bringing the 12” MacBook to ARM and maybe those rumored 14” or 16” MacBook Pro models.


          *Slight* differences. But not major ones.

      • Avatar

        bkkcanuck

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        Actually I think Apple will maintain their targetted margin, and the cost of the Apple silicon itself will be cheaper... so Apple is likely to add more features for existing price, or adjust the base price down slightly.


        The area the price will change considerably is when it comes to the highest CPU sku within a given product. Right now typically the tray price for an Intel CPU is between $250 and $500 on the laptop side (guesstimate for arguments sake).... Where Intel segments their CPU market to drive up profitability by having people opt up a the segment (i.e. build including the $500 CPU instead of the $250 one). This is not going to be an option with Apple silicon as it would not be worth it to Apple to do this. Apple will thus target the most performance for a given product - which means you will get the top CPU that Apple can make for lets say an 18watt enclosure - with no options to upgrade the CPU.... thus the cost for the CPU to Apple would be lets say $100 for the top and the bottom sku (same CPU) as far as CPU is concerned. Apple will thus likely offer have the price for the configuration driven by the options in the build alone (i.e. LTE/5G Modem, Memory, SSD size, etc. -- but not by the CPU).


        By the 2nd generation I think you will see a much wider price point between the 'Air' line and the 'Pro' line of laptops... so the Air line will drop to maybe $800 entry point and the Pro line will maintain the price point or rise a bit depending on what they can dream to squeeze into the computer.


        • Avatar

          curtisspendlove

          In reply to bkkcanuck:

          By the 2nd generation I think you will see a much wider price point between the 'Air' line and the 'Pro' line of laptops... so the Air line will drop to maybe $800 entry point and the Pro line will maintain the price point or rise a bit depending on what they can dream to squeeze into the computer.


          Agreed. There is a part of my soil that still thinks the MacBook 12” that was released a while back was always supposed to have this chip series but they had setbacks or whatever and decided they wanted to sell them instead of writing them off.


          But I really want a sleek, small, powerful version of that 12” MacBook to be one of the first they release.


          And once the back channel inventory of Macs is mostly sold out I can see them price differentiating more.


          I do agree that we are unlikely to see differentiation (within models at least) of CPU and GPU.


          I think the consumer end is going to basically be differentiated by size / features like the iPhone and iPad lines are.


          I very much want to see cellular modems. And I’d even like to see a touch screen (which, crazy enough I think makes sense even to Apple at this point.)


          :: shrug ::


          I’d laugh my ass off if “touch” was the “one more thing”.


          “All of those other guys are doing it wrong. There’s no reason to touch a monitor ... until now. Of *course* you want to touch these wonderful iOS Apps...now running directly on your Mac. Including these *gorgeous* new games that now run across all of your amazing Apple devices. We’re so excited we brought Epic Game’s Tim Sweeney onstage for a demo! Hahahahahaha just kidding we invited our new friends from Unity and Valve to show off their latest demos.”

          • Avatar

            Daishi

            In reply to curtisspendlove:

            ...the MacBook 12” that was released a while back was always supposed to have this chip series but they had setbacks or whatever and decided they wanted to sell them instead of writing them off.


            I suspect almost the exact opposite.


            That the Core M chips in the 12” MacBooks was the last straw for Apple. Intel’s inability to deliver on their promises for performance, battery life or price probably made Apple think “we can do better then these clowns without paying exorbitant prices for ‘new’ chips that are functionally no different to the ones they released 3 years ago”.

          • Avatar

            bkkcanuck

            In reply to curtisspendlove:

            Apple is a company that has on numerous occasions publicly state they won't or it is not the right solution to support something -- until they can support it and do it right. This is actually a good public stance to take (IMHO) as you reduce the confusion in the marketplace with regards to you might do something in the future when you don't know what the outcome is. I actually have no doubt the macOS / iPadOS will eventually be two different UIs supported on the same OS kernel on devices that will eventually become 2 in 1s - but it is a lengthy process. I think this is the reason for bifurcating iOS and iPadOS and the reason why they are pushing building apps that are the same packaged app for both iPadOS and macOS. I don't expect any touch screens til gen 2 early next year, I think the macOS menu bar changes make it fairly clear they are moving in that direction.


  5. Avatar

    maxlo

    Since the ipad Air since the latest launch is getting closer (esp. design-wise) to the ipad Pro, does anyone think we'll see some sort of ipad Pro with these new processors running Mac OS in the near future? Any rumours in this area?

  6. Avatar

    madthinus

    I just want a Apple TV update.

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