At next week’s iPhone 12 event, Cupertino was also (finally) able to unveil the first Apple Silicon Mac. Little is known about the computer (s) that will be the first to move from Intel to Apple processors. Anyway, here I hope we get to see next week’s big announcement.
More than one
Switching from Intel processors on Mac is a big deal. As such, I hope we will see at least two Apple Silicon Macs announced during the online event. The three most likely candidates to become the first Apple Silicon Macs are a next-generation MacBook, a reimagined iMac and a new Mac mini.
The current MacBook series does not include any portable laptops MacBook. Apple discontinued the last of these in 201
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Earlier this year, Apple released what could possibly be the final Intel-powered Mac, the 27-inch iMac (2020). And yet, Apple has not yet offered a 2020 update to the 21-inch model, which was last updated in 2019. The iMac Pro is also asking for an update. The $ 5K + machine has not seen an update of three year.
My gut tells me we’ll see a smaller iMac come with Apple Silicon before an iMac Pro update. However, Apple likes to surprise, so anything can happen (it is after all 2020).
The Mac mini might be the ideal first Apple Silicon candidate. However, the company already updated the device earlier this year, making another update less likely. And yet, Apple has a history of releasing new products in the spring only to replace them in the fall (hey, iPad 3), so you never know.
To repeat, although it is less clear which Apple Silicon Mac comes first, we hope there is more than one. That way, consumers will have a choice, and Apple will have the opportunity to explain what can be done with Apple Silicon on different types of Macs.
It’s entirely possible we’ll see an Apple Silicon – based MacBook Pro announced next week. However, most rumors to this point have mentioned a 2021 release date for these products, including a second-generation 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Ditch Intel to avoid confusion
When Apple Silicon was announced this spring, the company noted that Intel Macs will remain on the market for at least two years. This does not mean that similar Apple Silicon and Intel-based Macs will co-exist in the market, because they probably will not. For example, if Cupertino announces an Apple Silicon-based 21-inch iMac, it will not also be a 21-inch Intel-based iMac that remains on the market. Otherwise, the company would be forced to compare and contrast, and probably confuse as a result.
Avoiding confusion is the main reason why I suspect that the first Apple Silicon-based Mac may be a redesigned 12-inch MacBook. Without the MacBook at the moment, no comparison is needed. It may also be one of the reasons why rumors suggest that the 21-inch iMac may soon be replaced by a brand new 23-inch model. Again, Apple must avoid confusion between old and new.
Moving to a common architecture across all Apple products has long been rumored. When Apple Silicon is fully implemented, it means developers can write and optimize their apps for the entire Apple ecosystem. For Mac, this starts with macOS Big Sur, which is almost certainly days away from being released to the public.
The new macOS update provides a number of technologies that make the transition to Apple Silicon as easy as possible. At the same time, Apple offers translation technology using Rosetta 2, which allows the first Apple Silicon users to continue running existing Mac apps on their new computers.
We’ll have to see all of this during Apple’s presentation, and I expect we will do so next week.
Apple is not known for offering cheap products, and I do not expect anything to change on the first Apple Silicon products. In any case, the large unveiling will at least answer the question of whether new processors mean smaller or more expensive devices, at least in the short term.
You can follow next week’s event from Apple’s website and through Apple TV. As usual, visit iMore often before, during and after the event for full coverage. It begins Tuesday, October 13 and begins at 10 a.m. PDT.
What type of Mac do you want Apple Silicon to have first? A MacBook Pro? MacBook, iMac? Something else? Need a new iMac right now? Check out this year’s favorites … so far.