Apple has announced an event for October 18, with a video containing the title “Unleashed.” If you’ve been watching the rumors, it won’t come as a surprise: The company still has a lot of products that are expected to come out this year, but have not been featured in an Apple speech.
Chief among them are the new and more powerful MacBook Pros, which will follow the incredible 13-inch MacBook Pro powered by Apple Silicon that launched last November. The company is also expected to release new AirPods, and it has a full operating system that was announced but not shipped. Read on to get an in-depth look at the buzz surrounding these products and more.
Redesigned MacBook Pros
Most of the buzz about the event concerns redesigned MacBook Pros, which are expected to feature 14-inch and 16-inch displays, along with a new processor from Apple. Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo (which have a pretty solid track record when it comes to rumors) both have said that the laptops will feature iPhone 12-style flat sides with a redesigned MagSafe charging port and will no longer have the touch bar that has been a staple of many. MacBook Pros since 2016.
Apple is also rumored to be bringing the ports back to its laptops with the redesign. The new MacBooks Pros may include an SD card reader and HDMI and MagSafe ports, which will be familiar (and possibly loved) by people who miss the days when MacBooks had more than one type of port.
Mark Gurman reports that laptops will be powered by new chips, which are expected to be more powerful variants of the M1 processor found in current computers. The “M1X” (or M2, or whatever name Apple goes by) is expected to have more high-performance cores than its predecessor (eight instead of four) and even offer a choice of 16 or 32 graphics cores (compared to seven or eight in the M1). What’s still unclear is whether the new processor will remove any of the M1’s apparent limitations: none of the Apple Silicon Macs can be configured with more than 16GB of RAM or 2TB of storage, they can’t run more than two displays, and none of them have more than two Thunderbolt ports (iMac has at most two Thunderbolt ports and two USB-C ports). Traditionally, higher-end MacBook Pros have four Thunderbolt ports, although the inclusion of MagSafe and HDMI may make that less of a need.
If you’re thinking, “Wow, these new computers sound like everything I could have wished for,” you’re not alone; Many people are excited about the rumors (Although it’s worth keeping in mind that those don’t always work.) If it turns out that Apple has taken all the community feedback seriously, the chip shortage could make these laptops hot items for quite some time.
A Pro Mac Mini
Gurman also recently reported that a more powerful Mac mini was coming soon, with the same processor found in the updated MacBook Pros and more ports than are currently available in the M1-powered Mini. It’s an interesting rumor because the M1 Mini has one of the widest port selections available on a Mac M1 with USB-A, HDMI, two Thunderbolt ports, and optional 10-gigabit ethernet. But the Intel-based 2018 version, which a lot of people think of as the Mac Mini Pro (partly because of its space gray color), has all of that. plus two more Thunderbolt ports. For those looking for a powerful desktop powered by Apple, a 2018 Mac Mini replacement might be a great option, given the lack of rumors about a 27-inch iMac.
Gurman, Kuo, and Nikkei All have reported that Apple is working on a follow-up to their regular non-Pro AirPods and have said that the earbuds will feature the shorter stems found on their more expensive counterparts. It seems like AirPods would be a better fit at Apple’s iPhone event, but since they weren’t present, we might end up seeing them on the 18th. There’s also a (hilarious) chance that Apple would simply announce them via a press release. as it did with the AirPods Pro and Max, but with how popular the originals were, it seems their successors should have some time for the event.
A macOS Monterey release date
Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 15, but macOS Monterey, which was announced alongside them, is still in beta. It would be a bit strange if Apple released new Macs that ran macOS Big Sur out of the box, especially since Monterey was announced about three months ago at WWDC. If Apple doesn’t announce that the new version of macOS ships with the redesigned MacBook Pros, I’ll be quite surprised.