Apple’s WWDC event this year was filled to the brim with big software announcements, including new versions of iOS and macOS, but the supposed redesign of the MacBook Pro didn’t happen. However, Apple may have accidentally revealed its plans in this regard. Tags on Apple’s YouTube feed for the event included “M1X MacBook Pro” and “M1X”.
As the event nears, sources like Bloomberg have said redesigned MacBook Pros may be on the way this summer. No one knew if the reveal would take place at WWDC, but it seems Apple at least considered it based on those tags. Since someone bothered to add them, it’s safe to assume that Apple is indeed developing new MacBook Pros with improved ARM chips.
Apple took a big step forward from the x86 late last year when it announced the ARM-powered MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The M1 chip in these devices has since made its way to the iPad Pro as well. The M1 is an impressive piece of engineering with a better mix of performance and battery life than current Intel laptop chips. However, this remains limited in several frustrating ways. For example, you can only do one external display with current M1 laptops.
The M1X’s apparent existence makes sense – Apple would 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 older iPhones and iPads, suggesting it will be an evolutionary step for the company’s new system-on-a-chip. Rumors have signaled new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro units bringing back popular features like the SD card slot, HDMI port, and a version of the MagSafe connector. As for this new chip, it is supposed to have twice as many CPU and GPU cores. It could also support up to 64 GB of RAM.
So, those who are hoping for a more powerful ARM-based Mac will get their wish. It will just take a little longer. More than likely, Apple will host another dedicated event this summer to reveal the new laptops. It’s possible, although unlikely in my opinion, that the new macs won’t debut until the fall iPhone event.