This story is part of , our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.
On Tuesday, Apple iPhone than those in a typical PC. The machines are the , the and the . That alone is exciting to tech fans, but it’s also a sign of what’s possibly to come, whether you buy a Mac or not. Apple has said over the next couple of years. Starting with the just-unveiled machines, Apple is going to throw its weight behind its self-made chips.that are more like those in an
Most people may not care about a change to a small chip in their Mac computers, but it could mean big changes for Apple and the tech industry, too. For the past 14 years, Apple has desktop computers. Apple has spent more than a decade on research and development, and at least $1 billion buying more than half a dozen companies, to create the M1, a chip similar to those in iPhones and iPads and that takes on Intel. Now Apple’s first computers powered by the M1 have been made available for preorder and will start shipping next week.to power its laptop and
Apple says the M1 is more powerful and energy efficient, allowing for potentially smaller and slimmer designs, longer battery life and new technologies as well.
“Advancements of this magnitude only come from making bold changes,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during . He added that Apple’s own chips will usher in new technologies and “extraordinary battery life” from the computers. “This is exactly why we are transitioning to Mac Apple silicon at Apple,” Cook said.
For Apple, this moment has been more than a decade in the making. The question that’s nagged the company since co-founder Steve Jobs died in 2011 is, What comes next? Jobs ushered in the Mac computer, the iMac all-in-one desktop, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Since his death, Apple’s biggest new product has been the Apple Watch, which has turned into an enormous business. Last year it . Still, it’s not an iPhone-like dent in the universe.
By combining all its devices under the same chips and common code, Apple will be able to offer an experience that truly spans its desktops, laptops, phones and watches. The company has already said app developers will be able to create one app and send it to all devices, with adjustments for keyboard and mouse versus finger touch and gestures.
The result may be a further blurring of the lines between what a computer is, and what it’s meant to do.
The changes are already beginning with Apple’s newest computer software,, which brings to PCs even more of the icons, sounds and general look of that powers iPhones. Big Sur will be for free for recently made Macs.
“With the current Mac — it’s the Mac versus the PC,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. “Now, if it behaves like an iPhone, I can manage it like an extension of my iOS devices.”
What may come
Apple says its transition to new chips may be a little bumpy, as app developers change the way their apps are coded to work with this new machinery. In the meantime, Apple promises most of the software we all use, including web browsers, photo and movie editors from all sorts of companies and even Microsoft’s popular Office suite of programs, will work on the new machines on day one.
What’s likely to change more than anything is on the outside of the laptop and desktop. Apple’s iPhones and iPads don’t have fans to keep their chips cool. Apple’s pulled off that same trick with its MacBook Air laptops so far, though its new Mac Mini and MacBook Pro do have fans.
But aside from those changes, and what-if speculation about detachable laptop-iPad hybrids, Apple watchers seem hard pressed to come up with design change ideas. (Writer’s note: Apple, please bring backto the laptops. Pretty please.)
Another longer term play may be the integration of cellular service into these types of mobile chips. Computers with built-in cellular radios have been niche products at best, but these kinds of processors are designed to work with cellular radios. People buy connected iPads all the time — a connected MacBook Air isn’t a huge leap.
While that’s not likely to come out any time soon, the carriers will likely be eager to get 5G into future generation of Apple silicon-based MacBooks.
New way to pay
Apple gets more than expected performance and power efficiency out of switching to its own chips and away from ones made by Intel. It’ll also be able to more closely tune its software to work with its specialized chips, for example.
Apple will also be able to manage manufacturing.
“When you control your own destiny and control your own parts, you can save money,” said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at Technalysis Research.
Generally, he said, chip prices make up at least 20% of a laptop’s costs. And if Apple turns those savings into lower prices, it could attract new people who just won’t pay or can’t afford the company’s laptops, which start at $999.
It may also spark consumer interest and spur competition from other PC makers, who have in 2019, according to IDC.in computers so far. Though with just under 7% market share
But the Apple credit card could be the company’s true ace up its sleeve, analysts say. Putting Macs on a two-year interest-free installment plan could get people hooked with the idea of buying a computer for about $42 a month.
“Getting the Mac into a larger population could be huge,” O’Donnell said.
Either way, Apple’s move is bound to make waves, both by showing us how powerful its iPhone chips are, and potentially spurring the industry to change their devices to keep up.
“This is the biggest announcement in ‘computers’ in a long time,” tweeted Steven Sinofsky, a venture capitalist who oversaw Microsoft’s Windows software division more than a decade ago. “The real impact is the direction this takes things.”