By Marc Arcas
San Francisco, Nov 10 (efe-epa).- Apple on Tuesday unveiled its new MacBook Pro, Air and mini models, which for the first time incorporate the M1 microprocessor made by the firm itself using ARM architecture, thus further moving away from Intel as its chip provider.
At a digital product event held at the firm’s Cupertino, California, headquarters, Apple gave consumers their first glimpse of its latest products, as well as the M1 chip.
M1 – the firm’s most powerful chip ever produced – is a 5-nanometer wafer with 16 billion transistors designed specifically for Mac computers.
To start out, Apple will only be inserting its new chips into its smaller computers – the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the Mac Mini desktop – and the firm said it will be another two years before all its Macs can run on the chips.
The new version of the MacBook Pro has the best battery autonomy ever offered on a Mac, the firm said, lasting 20 hours with video reproduction or 17 hours if the user wants to surf online without needing to plug in to a power source.
With its 13-inch screen, the unit’s graphics load five times faster than in earlier models, and it provides up to 16 GB of memory and 2 TB of SSD.
In addition, Apple said during the presentation that the MacBook Pro’s starting price will be $1,299.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Air will have a 13.3-inch screen and, just like the Pro, up to 16 GB of memory and 2 TB of SSD.
Battery operation will last for up to 18 hours for video reproduction and 15 hours for Internet surfing, and it does not have an internal cooling fan to save space. Starting price for the Air is $999.
Finally, the Mac Mini – which is to be sold without a screen – also has 16 GB of memory, 2 TB of storage capacity and processes graphics six times faster than its predecessor. Its starting price will be $699.
All the new models come with the macOS Big Sur operating system, which was unveiled during the WWDC development conference last June and which, the firm said, has been updated to take advantage of all the potential of the new microchip.
Apple has been using Intel chips for its computers for the past 15 years, when it abandoned processors based on PowerPC that it had been using up to that point.
The chip’s ARM architecture is already being used in Apple’s iPhones and iPad tablets, and now the firm’s Macs will move to its own chip technology, too.
In July 2019, the firm headed by CEO Tim Cook announced an agreement to acquire Intel’s chip business for smartphones for $1 billion, with 2,200 Intel workers moving to Apple, along with a large amount of equipment and intellectual property.
Mac computers, the longstanding Apple standard, have taken a back seat for more than a decade with the rise of the market for iPhones, although that sector of the company is still seen as a vital segment of its business, not to mention its status in the tech industry.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 a good year for Mac sales, with the firm bringing in $28.622 billion from Macs during its fiscal 2020, more than during the previous period, although that is considerably less than the $137.8 billion it raked in for iPhone sales.