First Apple silicon Mac not expected to launch until November

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2021
Apple may not unveil the first Apple silicon Mac at its October 13 event, and instead will launch the anticipated macOS device in November, a new report claims.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The Oct. 13 "Hi, Speed" event is largely expected to focus on new "iPhone 12" and "iPhone 12 Pro" devices, but Apple watchers have predicted that the first Mac with Apple silicon could make its debut during the keynote, too. Apple, for its part, only said that the Macs with first-party chips would arrive before the end of 2020.

In a Bloomberg report focused on 5G and the iPhone, Mark Gurman suggests that the first Apple silicon Mac won't launch during the Tuesday keynote. Instead, he said that the first Mac laptop with an Apple slicon chip "will emerge at another launch in November."

At this point, it isn't clear if that "launch" will be an actual separate keynote event or an unveiling via press release. Whether it's a keynote or not, the move is significant enough to warrant a separate launch.

Bloomberg does note that the device will be announced "among other products," suggesting that the first Apple silicon Mac could arrive alongside other Intel-based models. During its Apple silicon announcement, the company did say that new Intel Macs were in the pipeline.

The Oct. 13 event will be Apple's second keynote in the latter half of 2020, following an event that saw new Apple Watch and iPad models. Alongside four new iPhones with 5G support, Gurman said that Apple will unveil new HomePod speakers and Apple-branded over-ear headphones at the "Hi, Speed" keynote.

Given that Apple appears to be focusing on smartphones and audio at the Oct. 13 keynote, and that it focused on Apple Watches and iPads at the previous one, there may be enough Mac developments to justify a completely separate event or launch.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, Apple has been holding its launch events in a virtual and socially distanced fashion. Because launch videos are prerecorded, Apple may be choosing to further stagger its launch across multiple keynotes and months.

The first Mac with an Apple silicon device is expected to be either a refresh of the 12-inch MacBook or some MacBook Pro variant. It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Makes sense. Each launch deserves its own spotlight.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 2 of 31
    No way Apple silicon get’s no keynote!
    appletechspotchiacornchiplibertyandfreeGG1MisterKitwilliamlondontoddzrx
  • Reply 3 of 31
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Why would it need a custom GPU? The one in the A14 is more than adequate for non-pro tasks and doubling the core-count to 8 should deliver dGPU performance.
    Though I think the whole SoC will be custom, not A-Series.
    chiaFatmancornchipentropys
  • Reply 4 of 31
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,608member
    No way Apple silicon get’s no keynote!
    There will be a keynote

    https://9to5mac.com/2020/10/09/apple-silicon-november-bloomberg/
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Kind of a 'duh' that the first Apple Silicon hardware gets a keynote. It's a genuinely historic product. 
    MisterKit
  • Reply 6 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I really don't see Macs with Apple Silicon as needing their own Keynote.   Such Macs could easily be a one more thing ending any other keynote.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,586member
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.

    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.

    I’m guessing there will be two new series; X-series for consumer and Z-series for Pro systems. And they will have an “M” variant for mobile (laptop). And they will use the same CPU and GPU cores as the A-series, as well as other logic units.

    Here’s what I think we’ll get...
    consumer desktop... X8, X12, X20
    consumer laptop... X8M, X12M
    pro desktop... Z16, Z20, Z28
    pro laptop... Z16M, Z20M

    The # in the name represents the CPU core count
    X @ 3GHz, and Z @ 4GHz
    Desktop SoCs will have only 2 efficiency cores, the rest will be performance cores.
    Mobile SoC cores will be half performance and half efficiency.
    GPU cores will very from 8 to 16 (maybe higher on Pro systems).
  • Reply 8 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,719member
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    The Apple Silicon Mac is a threshold game changing moment. I hardly doubt it will be introduced with just a press release.
    canukstormGG1williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 31
    I wonder if the new iPadPro becomes the new MacBookPro when paired with the magic keyboard.  We already know the A12Z can run Big Sur.  We already know there is enough storage and processing power in the iPadPros.  I think it's convergence time.  Apple, take my money!  Lord knows I've been saving 20 bucks per week since I bought my 2007 17-inch MBP and it's burning a hole in my pocket (had to disable the fans, they were too noisy).
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 11 of 31
    tht said:
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.
    These days for a MacBook Pro or Mac desktop supporting up to 32 GB is insufficient. I bought my 2019 16” MBP with 64 GB and I have no reason I’d go backwards to less (yes, I can absolutely use all that, though currently I won’t peak on a daily basis).
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 31
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,495member
    I wonder if the new iPadPro becomes the new MacBookPro when paired with the magic keyboard.  We already know the A12Z can run Big Sur.  We already know there is enough storage and processing power in the iPadPros.  I think it's convergence time.  Apple, take my money!  Lord knows I've been saving 20 bucks per week since I bought my 2007 17-inch MBP and it's burning a hole in my pocket (had to disable the fans, they were too noisy).
    I predict no. Apple is not looking for “convergence.”
  • Reply 13 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.

    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.

    I’m guessing there will be two new series; X-series for consumer and Z-series for Pro systems. And they will have an “M” variant for mobile (laptop). And they will use the same CPU and GPU cores as the A-series, as well as other logic units.

    Here’s what I think we’ll get...
    consumer desktop... X8, X12, X20
    consumer laptop... X8M, X12M
    pro desktop... Z16, Z20, Z28
    pro laptop... Z16M, Z20M

    The # in the name represents the CPU core count
    X @ 3GHz, and Z @ 4GHz
    Desktop SoCs will have only 2 efficiency cores, the rest will be performance cores.
    Mobile SoC cores will be half performance and half efficiency.
    GPU cores will very from 8 to 16 (maybe higher on Pro systems).

    Actually this is rather simple to address, the first Apple Silicon Mac, using the A14X, is likely to be the Mac Book.   The A14X would be a perfect fit for this micro laptop with just a few tweaks over the A13 series.   These are tweaks that are likely to happen anyways to move the iPad pros forward and on 5nm will not be a negative.   In a nut shell the A13 already has everything the Mac Book requires, an A14X would just make it more compelling.

    Now I'm in agreement that we will likely see a ""laptop"" processor real soon now.   Laptop is in quotes because they will likely just run it at higher power levels for the Mac Mini and the entry level iMac (if those models remain in the line up).   What is really interesting is the core counts and if SMT will be supported on these advanced processors.   If there is no SMT then I can see Apple shipping lots of cores (fairly easy with ARM cores).   I'm seriously thinking 16 cores as a minimal if there are no low power cores.   However 12 could be a minimal in an 8 + 4 configuration where 8 is the performance variant.   The next step up would add 8 more cores to either approach, so we could see 24 core chips real early in Apples silicon.  

    It gets even more interesting if you start to think about how Apple will implement these higher end SoC.   I can see Apple going the chiplet route similar to AMD's approach with possibly a different partitioning of responsibilities.   An 8 + 4 chiplet with the GPU on the "I/O" die would make for an very interesting start.   However 8 + 4 would not be leveraging the 5nm process very well which is why I can see a 16 core chiplets as a minimal chiplet size.   If they put the low power cores ( common need) on the I/O die / GPU, they would be able to scale to many cores quickly (think Mac Pro processor).   So we would have 16, 32, 48 & 64 cores + 4 configurations.   This should be a no brainer for 5nm space wise, there will be issues with data data transfers but 5nm also allows for big caches.   Also the I/O die could completely delete the GPU for systems not needing it.   In a nut shell huge flexibility for Apples more demanding Macs.   And yes this could mean a laptop with 32 cores as the use of ARM plus 5nm should keep the power profile in check.
    GG1
  • Reply 14 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    tht said:
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.

    I think you hit upon the border for A14X which will be fanless machines for the most part, though I can see an entry level Mac (Mini or iMac) using an A14X with fan.   I do believe however that the A14X will have more performance cores as this is easy to do on 5nm.   For the big Mac though I can really see Apple trying to be far more innovative than throwing out another monolithic chip for the high end machines.   I really expect that they will do something similar to AMD's chiplet approach.   What exactly it will be is unknown but it has worked so well for AMD and fits Apples needs most precisely.

    As for that MBA, this is a 2021 product a base RAM of 8GB is just not going to do it.    128 GB of storage is even worse, at $800 dollars they would need 16GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD.   This stuff is cheap these days so no reason not to make the base machine inviting.   For the MBP level of machines you can double those numbers for the base machines and even 1TB for an SSD is trivial in a MBP class machine these days.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    MisterKit said:
    The Apple Silicon Mac is a threshold game changing moment. I hardly doubt it will be introduced with just a press release.

    The introduction has already taken place at WWDC.   The release will be more than a press release but I don't see a need for a massive show.   This especially with A14 already released.   Frankly all they need is a good video that doesn't gloss over the technical details.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    tht said:
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.
    These days for a MacBook Pro or Mac desktop supporting up to 32 GB is insufficient. I bought my 2019 16” MBP with 64 GB and I have no reason I’d go backwards to less (yes, I can absolutely use all that, though currently I won’t peak on a daily basis).

    I'm actually surprised that there are people arguing the point when it comes to RAM capacity in Pro machines.   For many users you can't have too much, the real trick is for Apple to ship a reasonable amount in their base machines (something they don't do).   Frankly 16GB is the minimal these days for anythng even remotely called Pro and 16GB will not cut down on the people going upscale to get more RAM.  

    One thing that interests me is that the RAM Apple will be using.   Will it be DDR5 or some variant of HBM?    This is important for all levels of machines that Apple will be shipping as bandwidth can dramatically impact performance of APU type chips.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    Timing-wise it could be either the iPhone or an Apple Si Mac. Or both.even though 5G is still pretty much pointless in the U.S. the need to introduce a 5G phone both for international markets and more importantly for PR purposes, since the telecoms have convinced everyone that 5G is necessary to lead a fulfilled digital life. It’s also the right time to introduce the new phone for the holiday season. 

    As far as a Apple Si Mac goes, they regularly introduce products a month before they are released, so a Nov release doesn’t preclude including it in the event. It’s a big enough deal that they may want to give it its own event. Of course the iPhone was a ‘one more thing’ introduction, so who knows?
  • Reply 18 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,719member
    wizard69 said:
    I think you hit upon the border for A14X which will be fanless machines for the most part, though I can see an entry level Mac (Mini or iMac) using an A14X with fan.   I do believe however that the A14X will have more performance cores as this is easy to do on 5nm.   For the big Mac though I can really see Apple trying to be far more innovative than throwing out another monolithic chip for the high end machines.   I really expect that they will do something similar to AMD's chiplet approach.   What exactly it will be is unknown but it has worked so well for AMD and fits Apples needs most precisely.
    I think they'll be fine with monolithic chips, even at 32 perf A14 cores and an 64 A14 core GPU. That will be something around 350 mm^2. Perfectly doable. They aren't subject to the economics that AMD and Intel are, and don't need to eek every square mm of chip area, and don't need eek out every chip in every wafer.

    The A14X: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores, 8 GPU cores, will be perfectly fine as the low end option for all the Macs except for the large iMac, large laptop, and the Mac Pro. It's going to score something like 1600, 7000, and 24,000 in GB5 single, multi and Metal. That's 8 core Skylake territory with something like a Radeon Pro 5300M level GPU. Of course, we all hope the dedicated Mac SoCs will have 2x, 3x, 4x CPU and GPU perf.

    wizard69 said:
    As for that MBA, this is a 2021 product a base RAM of 8GB is just not going to do it.    128 GB of storage is even worse, at $800 dollars they would need 16GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD.   This stuff is cheap these days so no reason not to make the base machine inviting.   For the MBP level of machines you can double those numbers for the base machines and even 1TB for an SSD is trivial in a MBP class machine these days.
    If they are going to sell a Mac laptop at $800, it isn't going to come with 16 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage. A Mac laptop with 13" display, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB is an optimistic set of features for $800, even with an A14, not an A14X. They sell an iPad Pro 12.9 with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage for $1000. Just don't see how they are going to have a machine that basically have equivalent components for $800.

    Maybe they might be able to do it with an A14 SoC and 8 GB of RAM, if they are willing.
    GG1
  • Reply 19 of 31
    wizard69 said:
    tht said:
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.
    These days for a MacBook Pro or Mac desktop supporting up to 32 GB is insufficient. I bought my 2019 16” MBP with 64 GB and I have no reason I’d go backwards to less (yes, I can absolutely use all that, though currently I won’t peak on a daily basis).

    I'm actually surprised that there are people arguing the point when it comes to RAM capacity in Pro machines.   For many users you can't have too much, the real trick is for Apple to ship a reasonable amount in their base machines (something they don't do).   Frankly 16GB is the minimal these days for anythng even remotely called Pro and 16GB will not cut down on the people going upscale to get more RAM.  

    One thing that interests me is that the RAM Apple will be using.   Will it be DDR5 or some variant of HBM?    This is important for all levels of machines that Apple will be shipping as bandwidth can dramatically impact performance of APU type chips.
    I had bought the 2016 15” MacBook Pro with 16 GB RAM, which I felt was deeply suboptimal, going from a failing 2010 17” MBP that maxed out at 8 GB RAM, and having no way to upgrade RAM with the newer machine.  Especially since my work laptop (PC) had 32 GB expandable to 64 GB (I do developer support for Microsoft, Windows SDK/Media SDK, and the data/tools I use can exhaust whatever memory I have if I don’t watch out).

    Long-term I saw the keyboard issue looming, and I saw evidence of other things, too, that had me concerned.  The machine felt like it was heading towards failure eventually based on some weird things I saw happening.  I traded it in on this 2019 RAM/GPU-loaded machine (2.3 Ghz i9, 1 TB SSD, because experience is the SSD won’t be used up in the lifespan I’ll have it, and the price for CPU speed increase would be a bad value for something I won’t notice in my use-case without artificial benchmarks).  Of course, I timed my upgrade off by a year!  Oh well.  Worst-case scenario is this 16” will remain a very good Windows laptop after Apple no longer supports MacOS updates for it, with the fun part that Windows and MacOS make notably different metakey usage fo layout.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft/Apple cooperate to bring Windows for ARM as a bootable (no VM) OS.  If that happens, Intel should be even more concerned long-term.

    The great thing I see from perusing the WWDC information is the 8 large/performance+ 4 small/low-power cores is the majority of the time even with web browsers, it may momentarily power up some big cores to process the main rendering/JavaScript quickly to get sites displayed, but then coast on the 4 low-power cores.  Short of regular heavy animation, Microsoft Office/ Apple’s suite will easily be able to work efficiently on the small cores.  Only heavy-duty processing users (long-term) will see the lower battery life (more CPU/GPU-intensive games are what will be a more common case for casual users: decoding, playing video from youTube will be as battery-efficient as an iPad due to hardware acceleration).

    I see the Apple Silicon MacBook Pros coming out as likely being a battery-sipping cross between an iPad with the horsepower of a MBP laptop when desired, just no touchscreen.  I’ve considered and at times used in long battery-use scenarios to use an iPad for web-browsing/typing documentation while doing development, and saving the laptop for building, to maximize battery life. The reality is most of the time in software development (and computer on time) is spent thinking, reading/writing documentation, very little of the wall-time building, but it eats a lot of power to build code, and even a fair amount having the laptop just standing ready with screen on.

    But with the coming Apple Silicon laptops BIG+little cores, this will be in a single device.  Darn it, I can’t justify taking a loss selling/trading in this laptop!
  • Reply 20 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,586member
    tht said:
    mjtomlin said:
    It's rumored to sport the A14X processor, a custom GPU, and a battery life between 15 to 20 hours.
    Umm, who started that rumor? And why am I hearing that the first ASi Mac will have an A14X in it? Apple has already said they were working on a new family of SoCs for the Mac.
    I don't think it was Gurman or Kuo. Both of them are pretty careful about that level of specificity. It was probably your Twitter leaker du jour. The names don't matter as it's an artificial distinction anyways.

    A notional A14X with a 4+4+8 config: 4 perf cores, 4 eff cores and 8 graphics cores, would be awesome as one of the processor options for an MBA, MBP13, Mac mini, small iMac, and whatever low cost machine as well as an iPad Pro. It just needs to support up to 32 GB of RAM and TB3/USB4 for the Mac machines.

    An A14 based MBA13 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $800 would make for a great machine too.

    But yes, the higher performance SoC options will be "made for Mac" as it were. They will run too hot to be in a fanless form factor.
    These days for a MacBook Pro or Mac desktop supporting up to 32 GB is insufficient. I bought my 2019 16” MBP with 64 GB and I have no reason I’d go backwards to less (yes, I can absolutely use all that, though currently I won’t peak on a daily basis).

    I have a 21” iMac from 2014 with 8MB and it runs just fine now that I’ve upgraded it to an SSD. It was dog slow - to the point it was almost unusable. After I upgraded it, it now runs great... Can even run Xcode without any serious issues.
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