Dubai: Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a one-liner on Twitter: "The Big day is here". On Monday, the tech giant went live online and is expected to unveil the latest iterations of MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and AirPods (Series 3).
Cook started off the live video with an intro saying the focus would be on music and the Mac. The main announcements included a new Voice Plan for Apple Music and HomePad Mini in different colours for smart homes.
New MacBook Pro
Apple on Monday also unveiled the completely reimagined MacBook Pro powered by the all-new M1 Pro and M1 Max — the first pro chips designed for the Mac. Available in 14- and 16-inch models, MacBook Pro delivers groundbreaking processing, graphics, and machine learning (ML) performance whether running on battery or plugged in, as well as amazing battery life — enabling workflows previously unimaginable on a notebook.
The new MacBook Pro also features a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, a wide range of ports for advanced connectivity, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and the best audio system in a notebook. Combined with macOS Monterey, which is engineered down to its core to take full advantage of M1 Pro and M1 Max, the user experience is simply unrivaled.
The new MacBook Pro joins the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 to form the strongest lineup of pro notebooks ever. Customers can order the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models today, and they will be available beginning Tuesday, October 26.
Apple also announced the latest AirPods, which boast spatial audio experience, which can be ordered starting Monday. The new AirPods are resistant to sweat and water, and feature a force sensor for easy and intuitive control of music and phone calls. AirPods (3rd generation) will be available for Dh749 and are available to order from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app in the US and more than 26 other countries and regions starting on Monday, with availability in stores beginning Tuesday, October 26.
The extended battery life enables up to six hours of listening time1 and up to 30 hours of total listening time with the convenient charging case. AirPods (3rd generation) join the world’s most popular family of headphones and are available to order starting today, and in stores beginning Tuesday, October 26.
Two new chips for Mac
Before Monday, Apple's most powerful laptops still relied on chips from Intel Corp. The company has already placed a first generation in-house-designed M1 chip into some MacBooks as well as its Mac Mini and iMac desktop machines, but the new larger MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a second, more powerful generation of the company's chip.
Apple also announced two new chips for Mac, M1 Max and M1 Pro. Scaling up M1’s transformational architecture, M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights. The CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, so tasks like compiling projects in Xcode are faster than ever. The GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster than M1, while M1 Max is up to an astonishing 4x faster than M1, allowing pro users to fly through the most demanding graphics workflows.
M1 Pro offers up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of unified memory. M1 Max delivers up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth — 2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1 — and support for up to 64GB of unified memory.
The new chip, along with a general rise in laptop sales as employees and students stocked up on tech hardware to work and learn from home, prompted a boom in Mac sales during the pandemic. Revenue rose 11% to $28.6 billion in Apple's fiscal 2020, even as iPhone revenue declined 3%.
The expected MacBook Pro introduction comes weeks after Apple overhauled its iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad lineup.
Apple Music Voice Plan
The Apple Music Voice Plan offers subscribers access to the service’s catalog of 90 million songs; tens of thousands of playlists, including hundreds of brand new mood and activity playlists, personalized mixes, and genre stations; as well as the award-winning Apple Music Radio — all through Siri for just $4.99 (Dh18.3) per month.
“Apple Music and Siri are natural partners and already work seamlessly together,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “With Siri actively used on hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, we are thrilled to add this new plan that delivers an effortless music experience just by using your voice and makes Apple Music accessible to even more people around the world.”
Users can subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan through Siri by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Apple Music app. Once subscribed to the Apple Music Voice Plan, users can request music be played across all of their Siri-enabled devices, including HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhone, or any other Apple device, and when using CarPlay.
Apple Music is also adding hundreds of new mood and activity playlists created by Apple Music’s editorial experts that are fully optimized just for voice. Subscribers can ask Siri to “Play the dinner party playlist,” “Play something chill,” or even “Play more like this” for a truly personalized music experience.