Apple’s WWDC event this year was filled to the brim with major software announcements, including new versions of iOS and macOS, but the rumored MacBook Pro update did not happen. However, Apple may have accidentally revealed its plans in this regard. Among the tags on Apple’s YouTube stream of the event were “M1X MacBook Pro” and “M1X.”
As the event approached, sources like Bloomberg said the redesigned MacBook Pros could be on its way this summer. No one knew if the revelation would happen at WWDC, but it seems that Apple at least considered it based on these tags. Since someone went to the trouble of adding them, we can safely assume that Apple is actually developing new MacBook Pros with enhanced ARM chips.
Apple took a big step away from the x86 late last year when it announced the ARM-powered MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The M1 chip from these devices has since also made its way to the iPad Pro. The M1 is an impressive piece of technology with a better mix of performance and battery life than current Intel laptop chips. However, it is still limited in a few frustrating ways. For example, you can only make an external monitor with the current M1 laptops.
The apparent existence of the M1X makes sense – Apple will certainly want a more powerful chip for its high-end laptops. The “X” naming scheme also matches what Apple has done with its A-Series ARM chips for iPhones and older iPads, suggesting that this will be an evolutionary step for the company’s new system-on-a-chip. Rumors have it pointing to new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro devices bringing back popular features like SD card slot, HDMI port and some version of the MagSafe connector. As for the new chip, it should have twice as many CPU and GPU cores. It could also support up to 64 GB of RAM.
So those hoping for a more powerful ARM-based Mac get their wish. It just takes a little longer. More than likely, Apple will have another dedicated event this summer to unveil the new laptops. It’s possible, though in my opinion it’s unlikely that the new Macs might not debut before the fall iPhone event.