What to expect during today's Apple Silicon 'one more thing' Mac special event

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited November 2020
While Apple's third fall 2020 "one more thing" event is largely expected to center on Apple Silicon Macs, there are still a few other things that could make an appearance. Here's what to expect.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple Park
Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple Park


On Monday, Apple sent out virtual invitations to an Apple Event titled "One more thing," most likely in reference to it being the third Apple Event in as many months.

The first, "Time Flies," covered the launches of the iPad Air 4, the 10.2-inch iPad, the Apple Watch Series 6, and the Apple Watch SE. The second, "Hi, Speed," saw the introduction of the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, along with the HomePod mini.

Given the subject areas covered so far for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and HomePod ranges, that leaves relatively few areas left for Apple to discuss during the next event.

Like the earlier two versions, the third presentation is likely to be a stream-only affair, with a premade video set in Apple Park showcasing all of the new products.

Apple Silicon Macs

Probability: Near certainty

Apple CEO Tim Cook presenting Apple Silicon at WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook presenting Apple Silicon at WWDC 2020


During WWDC, Apple advised to developers it was migrating away from Intel processor to ones of its own design, named Apple Silicon. Apple also outlined an aggressive two-year timeline for transition, as well as announcing the first Mac using Apple Silicon would be revealed by the end of 2020.

Of all of the items in the list, the Apple Silicon Mac is the only hardware release confirmed to be on the way by Apple itself, both as a concept and for its initial product releases. Given the end-of-2020 claim, this makes some form of Apple Silicon Mac a prime candidate for the event, and reports have suggested as such.

Serial leaker Jon Prosser earmarked the November event, claiming it would center around an "ARM Mac," which would refer to Apple Silicon.

A Bloomberg report from October 9 claimed the first model will "emerge at another launch in November," which seemingly goes along with rumors about a November event. It is also suggested that the Apple Silicon version will launch alongside other products, potentially including other Intel-based Macs.

Reports have claimed the first Apple Silicon device will be either a 12-inch MacBook or some form of MacBook Pro. It will allegedly be light at 1kg, and is expected to use the A14X processor with a custom GPU, use USB Type-C, and have a battery life of between 15 and 20 hours.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has repeatedly speculated about a late 2020 Apple Silicon Mac, with a July prediction speculating the first could be a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, with an Apple Silicon MacBook Air either in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021, followed by a 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Not long after Apple's announcement, rumors started to surface about the potential Macbooks.

Serial leaker @L0vetodream on Twitter posted simply "13 inch" and "13 inch X 2" in two tweets. While somewhat cryptic, it is likely that this is in reference to 13-inch MacBook models, namely a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 13-inch MacBook Air.

A similarly-timed report from Bloomberg claimed three new MacBook models are on the way, consisting of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch MacBook Air, and a 16-inch MacBook Pro, all equipped with Apple Silicon. None of the models will seemingly have any major design changes, aside from a change of processor, so they will be externally similar to existing models.

Ultimately, we know that Apple Silicon is on the way, and it will do so before the end of the year. We just don't know exactly what form it will take, but we have a vague idea.

macOS Big Sur

Probability: Very high

Probably the most obvious thing Apple is to release before the end of 2020, macOS Big Sur lags behind the releases of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7, which have all been released to the public. Currently, macOS Big Sur is still in beta testing ahead of its release.

Given how macOS Big Sur is directly connected to Apple Silicon's release, it makes sense that the operating system will feature during an event for the hardware, if not necessarily in a starring role.

While macOS Big Sur introduces some changes in the interface for users, such as turning elements of Safari and Messages into Catalyst apps, the main reason for thorough testing of the operating system is due to it being a pivotal release for Apple.

For this version, macOS Big Sur has to be able to work with both existing Intel-based processors and Apple Silicon, Apple's own processor line it is introducing that is largely ARM-based, and takes advantage of Apple's knowledge of developing A-series chips.

A release of macOS Big Sur will happen eventually, and given it usually takes place later in the year, it seems almost certain to happen soon.

AirTags

Probability: High

A render of Apple's AirTags [via Jon Prosser]
A render of Apple's AirTags [via Jon Prosser]


The long-rumored tracking accessory, "AirTags" are Tile-like devices you attach to items you want to keep track of via your iPhone. In effect, it would enable the Find My app to work with items that aren't Apple hardware or products.

In the case of "AirTags," it is thought it would work with the Find My app, with some rumors suggesting it may even include a form of augmented reality view to show the precise location of a lost item.

It is believed Apple will use both Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband technology for the tracker. If lost in public, other passing iPhones will be able to pick up an encrypted ping from the tracker, which can then be reported back to the owner securely via iCloud.

Earlier leaks and a render based on a leaked video point to the "AirTags" having a circular design with a metal back, making it similar to a button or badge. It is probable that there will be some extra accessories available for attaching it to items, such as a keychain.

It is likely Apple will price "AirTags" higher than competing systems like Tile, which can sell for between $25 and $35.

A report on October 9 suggested that Apple is holding the AirTags until 2021. If true, this means "AirTags" won't be shown off during the event, but it seems more plausible for Apple to introduce it before the holiday sales period than after.

AirPods Studio

Probability: Maybe

A render of what 'AirPods Studio' could look like.
A render of what 'AirPods Studio' could look like.


The "AirPods Studio" are believed to be premium over-the-ear headphones that will offer the audio quality of AirPods, and the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode of AirPods Pro, but in a different package. By offering them as headphones, Apple will be able to enter a new market for AirPods, beyond the current in-ear wireless earphone market.

Powered the H1 chipset once more, the headphones will also offer AirPods signature "Hey Siri" support and strong connectivity, but rumors do suggest it will include other sensors enabling other features. These include proximity sensors in the headband to determine if they are worn on the head or neck, as well as possibly determining which way the headphones are being worn in terms of left and right audio channels.

The use of the U1 chip has also been proposed, which will enable it to be used with the "Find My" app if they are misplaced. The enclosed nature of the over-ear headphones should also help to create an immersive audio experience, as well as enhancing noise cancellation features.

Rumors have suggested there could be interchangeable parts on the "AirPods Studio," such as the ear cups, headband, and other elements held on by magnets. This could allow for different variations of the headphones to be made for specific needs, such as a sport-centric version using plastic and rubber while a luxury configuration could use leather and metal.

In terms of how much the "AirPods Studio" could cost, rumors point to it being priced at around $350 to start, with a luxury configuration coming in at $599. This is in the same ballpark of the Beats Studio3, which is sold in a variety of color options and uses the W1 chip for $349.

Given that Apple purged rival audio products from its store ahead of the October special event, it seemed likely that "AirPods Studio would show up alongside the iPhone 12 range, but it ultimately didn't.

Since this is the last opportunity to offer products that could be bought during the holiday shopping period, it seems quite likely for Apple to want to reveal what could be considered an ideal seasonal gift for consumers to purchase, helping its chances of being shown.

However, whether there will be time alongside the Apple Silicon announcement remains to be seen.

AirPods X

Probability: Maybe

The "AirPods Studio" can be one of multiple audio products Apple could be preparing to introduce at the same time. Another viable candidate are earphones tentatively titled "AirPods X."

An example of what 'AirPods X' could look like.
An example of what 'AirPods X' could look like.


While it is possible the name could refer to the "AirPods Studio," there has been some speculation that Apple would extend the AirPods range further, into the realm of connected headphones.

A tweet from Jon Prosser in April suggested the "AirPods X" were earphones for sports and running, taking a form similar to the BeatsX. Unlike other AirPod models, the BeatsX uses a common form factor of having a cable running between the two earphones, which would then connect to an iPhone using Bluetooth.

This would in theory offer AirPod-style features in a cheaper package, though speculation has put the earphones in the ballpark of $200.

The likelihood of its appearance is comparable to the "AirPods Studio," due to holiday shopping and Apple Silicon focus concerns.

AirPods Pro Lite

Probablity: Maybe

A third AirPods product, the "AirPods Pro Lite" would be a cross between the AirPods and AirPods Pro, in having some of the more premium features at a better entry price point.

It would also supposedly resemble the current two versions in some form, remaining as completely wireless earphones by design, and use a charging case. Positioned between the two generations, the model should cost somewhere around $200.

However, as there have been some talk of the "AirPods Pro Lite" and "AirPods X" being potentially the same product, there's some confusion as to which may get released, if not both variants.

If it is a separate product and a middle-of-the-road AirPods release, again it stands a good chance of appearing, though with the same caveats as the other two AirPods items.

Apple TV 6

Probablity: Low

The Apple TV 4K.
The Apple TV 4K.


It has been a long three years since Apple last updated the Apple TV, with the introduction of the Apple TV 4K in 2017. Apple typically spaces out Apple TV updates by two to three years, so the timing of a new version seems to be right.

Tentatively known as the "Apple TV 6" but likely to be known as the Apple TV on release, the model is rumored to be an update to the existing Apple TV 4K rather than a major refresh of the product line.

Rumors suggest a newer A-series chip like the A12Z or an updated version could be used, which could certainly help improve services like Apple Arcade, which rely on processing and graphics performance.

Rumors suggest the storage could be upgraded to include 128GB on the most-expensive model, and 64GB on the cheaper variant. There has also been discussion of it using the U1 chip for Ultra Wideband support, as well as for a new Siri Remote.

Pricing is thought to be in line with existing 4K models, at $179 for the lower-capacity model and $199 for the higher version.

While it could easily be launched during any special event, it is similarly also the easiest item for Apple to push off to a later event, possibly even into 2021. As it would be a spec bump, its appearance will be short, if it does at all.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    If any "AirPods X" product had a feature set comparable to the current AirProds Pro, I's probably give them a shot.  Even if they don't stay in my ears any better than the existing one, The connector would at least keep them on my body.

    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.
    pulseimageslolliver
  • Reply 2 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    “One More Thing” is just that. Silicon Macs and nothing else.
    mobirdjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    lkrupp said:
    “One More Thing” is just that. Silicon Macs and nothing else.
    This is my thought also, though it'll have to be Big Sur as well since that's is supposed to be required for ASi Macs.  And it's long overdue - in past years it's never been more than a month between all the iDevice releases and the macOS release.

    Definitely looking forward to updating my 16" MBP to Big Sur.  Already purged it a year ago of 32-bit apps for Catalina of course, so I don't see anything to lose here. And I really like the new UI. Seems like a no-brainer to update this time.
    edited November 2020 StrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,523member
    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.
    If I recall correctly, the second gen one is the only one that has been jailbroken, as a result it may sell for more on eBay than its original price.
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Detnator said:

    Seems like a no-brainer to update this time.
    It's a no-brainer because it won't cost you a dime to upgrade. Consider those of us who can't upgrade to the latest MacOS because our equipment suddenly became "out of date?" Do we buy a new Mac to get BigSur or do we wait for AppleSilicon? Since I haven't upgraded my Mac for 8 years (a wonderful run) I'll be shelling-out for AppleSilicon, but will wait until I see all of the model choices & configurations. The buzz, and all that will go with it, will be exciting and new. ♫ Come aboard, we're expecting you ♫ 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,523member
    If Apple updates the Apple TV, it better update the remote with a U1 chip, since that thing is so easy to lose (I sometimes don't watch Apple TV because I can't find the remote.)
    Alex1Njony0Vermelho
  • Reply 7 of 20
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 861member
    Didn’t Kuo say that the AirPods X could end up being a Beats product? And didn’t Apple just quietly release Beats Flex last week? Is it possible that this is what he was referring to? Can we put a pin in the AirPods X rumors now?

    (Repost)
    lolliverwilliamlondonwatto_cobraVermelho
  • Reply 8 of 20
    If they can get 15-20 hours of battery life, could they use a smaller battery with half the weight? Would be interesting with a lineup like this:

    12” MacBook Air. 10 hour battery life, super low weight and size. High end CPU. 

    13” MacBook. 20 hour battery life, same weight as ordinary MacBook Pro, mid end CPU. 

    14” MacBook Pro. 18 hour battery life, same weight as ordinary MacBook Pro. High end CPU plus high end GPU. 

    Earlier the Macbook was the expensive and small one, but this is like a long time ago when the MacBook was the white plastic inexpensive computer. The line up has recent years become very hard to grasp with all those MacBook Pro without Touchbar and the likes. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,477member
    Many Bothans dies to bring us this information.
    mattinozwatto_cobratmayInspiredCode
  • Reply 10 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,636member
    lkrupp said:
    “One More Thing” is just that. Silicon Macs and nothing else.

    Unless Apple TV is going back to mac on the inside like the first generation, I also can't see them going beyond mac things for the event.
    The others including Big Sur would normally be a website release level products.

    Now thinking AppleTV MacMini cross-over (Ie AppleTV with MacChip instead of the Aseries would be a great product on many levels.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    mattinoz said:
    lkrupp said:
    “One More Thing” is just that. Silicon Macs and nothing else.

    Unless Apple TV is going back to mac on the inside like the first generation, I also can't see them going beyond mac things for the event.
    The others including Big Sur would normally be a website release level products.

    Now thinking AppleTV MacMini cross-over (Ie AppleTV with MacChip instead of the Aseries would be a great product on many levels.



    I don’t think it’ll go back to macOS, it’s running its own tvOS now. What would or could be interesting is if this rumored “A14T” is actually an SoC designed for the Apple TV - just an A14 with more GPU cores?
    watto_cobraVermelho
  • Reply 12 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    If any "AirPods X" product had a feature set comparable to the current AirProds Pro, I's probably give them a shot.  Even if they don't stay in my ears any better than the existing one, The connector would at least keep them on my body.

    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.

    I don't get the implication made in this article that runners need connected AirPods.
    I use my Airpod Pros almost exclusively for running and they work perfectly.   And, I see many other people out on the trails doing the same.   In fact, Airpods probably out number all other forms (headphones, wired or connected) combined.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    davendaven Posts: 626member
    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.
    If I recall correctly, the second gen one is the only one that has been jailbroken, as a result it may sell for more on eBay than its original price.
    Might be a good time to sell my second gen I’m not using. I already jail broke it. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,905member
    lkrupp said:
    “One More Thing” is just that. Silicon Macs and nothing else.
    I very much doubt this with Christmas right around the corner. 

    If rumours persist, there is probably something to them. In this case, many of them are for what would typically do well during the Christmas period and if disposable income is scarce, it is these high margin but relatively cheap products that can become big money earners. 
  • Reply 15 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,633member
    rikipedia said:
    Detnator said:

    Seems like a no-brainer to update this time.
    It's a no-brainer because it won't cost you a dime to upgrade. Consider those of us who can't upgrade to the latest MacOS because our equipment suddenly became "out of date?" Do we buy a new Mac to get BigSur or do we wait for AppleSilicon? Since I haven't upgraded my Mac for 8 years (a wonderful run) I'll be shelling-out for AppleSilicon, but will wait until I see all of the model choices & configurations. The buzz, and all that will go with it, will be exciting and new. ♫ Come aboard, we're expecting you ♫ 
    Don't forget that with each new product release, the prices drop for the previous ones, often rather dramatically. While the Apple Silicon stuff is interesting, I have no pressing need for it. At some point my 2009 iMac that I am now trying on will fail, and I'll replace it. I expect to have many options, and prices are falling on what will suit me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Holding out hope for a Mac nano in an Apple TV form factor with an A14X CPU and 8 GB of RAM for $299. Jobs would have done this without hesitation as it would be the single most disruptive product Apple could bring to market in order to emphasize Apple Silicon's dominance over Intel. Timid Tim probably would reject the idea because it is different or something.
    williamlondonVermelho
  • Reply 17 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    eightzero said:
    rikipedia said:
    Detnator said:

    Seems like a no-brainer to update this time.
    It's a no-brainer because it won't cost you a dime to upgrade. Consider those of us who can't upgrade to the latest MacOS because our equipment suddenly became "out of date?" Do we buy a new Mac to get BigSur or do we wait for AppleSilicon? Since I haven't upgraded my Mac for 8 years (a wonderful run) I'll be shelling-out for AppleSilicon, but will wait until I see all of the model choices & configurations. The buzz, and all that will go with it, will be exciting and new. ♫ Come aboard, we're expecting you ♫ 
    Don't forget that with each new product release, the prices drop for the previous ones, often rather dramatically. While the Apple Silicon stuff is interesting, I have no pressing need for it. At some point my 2009 iMac that I am now trying on will fail, and I'll replace it. I expect to have many options, and prices are falling on what will suit me. 

    True!  Last Christmas I bought a brand new 8Gb MacBook Air for $650 from Amazon.   That was about 40% off -- plus I got a good keyboard and a swappable SSD (which i took advantage of to upgrade the drive so i could install Windows under Bootcamp)

    And today that may be more true than ever:   While it's safe to assume new, but older MacBooks will drop in price we simply don't know if the new ones with Apple Silicon will be able to do all the things that the older Intel MacBooks could do.   An analogy is Microsoft's experience porting Windows to ARM processors:   they did it, but it was of limited functionality.  While we know Apple will likely do a better job of it, physical limitations still exist (especially in things Apple can't directly control like Apps).

    So, while we see lots of stats on CPU performance we simply don't know how or if functionality will be impacted.  But it is reasonable to assume that those older Intel Macs will be cheaper tomorrow than they are today.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    If any "AirPods X" product had a feature set comparable to the current AirProds Pro, I's probably give them a shot.  Even if they don't stay in my ears any better than the existing one, The connector would at least keep them on my body.

    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.

    I don't get the implication made in this article that runners need connected AirPods.
    I use my Airpod Pros almost exclusively for running and they work perfectly.   And, I see many other people out on the trails doing the same.   In fact, Airpods probably out number all other forms (headphones, wired or connected) combined.
    I bought a set of AirPods Pro for use on my work Mac.  After a half hour of sitting on my couch (my "desk" at the time), they would worked themselves out enough so that when I got up from my seat they were loose enough that a not all that vigorous head movement would dislodge them.  After that, I didn't have the guts to try them on an extended walk.  Mind, this was after having the Apple Store person help me get them fitted in the store.

    I am glad that your ears are built according to Apple's specifications and work well with AirPods Pro.  My ears apparently suffer from a factory defect, or design flaw, that is now, sadly, out of warranty and can't be fixed.

    Fortunately, my wife loves them, and can seemingly wear them for days without losing them, so I didn't have to return.

    So, for me, a connector of the kind shown in the illustration, or a better method to secure them in ill-designed ear canals such as my own, would be most welcome.
    watto_cobraDavid H Dennis
  • Reply 19 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,905member
    If any "AirPods X" product had a feature set comparable to the current AirProds Pro, I's probably give them a shot.  Even if they don't stay in my ears any better than the existing one, The connector would at least keep them on my body.

    As for an Apple TV, I have a 2nd gen one now, so I would probably consider that as well.

    I don't get the implication made in this article that runners need connected AirPods.
    I use my Airpod Pros almost exclusively for running and they work perfectly.   And, I see many other people out on the trails doing the same.   In fact, Airpods probably out number all other forms (headphones, wired or connected) combined.
    I bought a set of AirPods Pro for use on my work Mac.  After a half hour of sitting on my couch (my "desk" at the time), they would worked themselves out enough so that when I got up from my seat they were loose enough that a not all that vigorous head movement would dislodge them.  After that, I didn't have the guts to try them on an extended walk.  Mind, this was after having the Apple Store person help me get them fitted in the store.

    I am glad that your ears are built according to Apple's specifications and work well with AirPods Pro.  My ears apparently suffer from a factory defect, or design flaw, that is now, sadly, out of warranty and can't be fixed.

    Fortunately, my wife loves them, and can seemingly wear them for days without losing them, so I didn't have to return.

    So, for me, a connector of the kind shown in the illustration, or a better method to secure them in ill-designed ear canals such as my own, would be most welcome.
    "Fortunately, my wife loves them, and can seemingly wear them for days without losing them, so I didn't have to return."

    For a second there I thought you meant your wife loved your ears! 

    I hope that's the case anyway! 

    I'm in your situation. The open fit style (with or without silicon tips) just doesn't sit well in my ears. They're ok for sofa use but nothing else because if they drop it's onto a soft surface. If I were to go to the bathroom for example they could end up on a hard floor or in the pan. 

    A lace style would at least remedy that problem as well as offer far better battery life. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 20 of 20
    I'm hoping this "smaller Mac Pro" is actually The Mac. In keeping with the Mini, the "It", then Pro naming scheme I think a consumer level full desktop without the Pro whistles would be very welcomed. Mac mini, Mac and Mac Pro. Seal the deal and pay homage to your King Jobs. Oh, for those wondering...the iMac Smaller form factor can be called the iMac Mini. As far as the iPads go...iPad Mini, iPad and iPad Pro. I think it's a scheme they can stick with for years and cash in on effectively. Hey, they started it. I just think they haven't grasped the idea enough.
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.