Two new Apple Silicon MacBooks enter production in late 2021, report claims

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 10
Apple has reportedly rescheduled manufacturing of two new Apple Silicon MacBook Pro models to the second half of 2021, echoing current predictions surrounding rumored 14- and 16-inch models.

MacBook Pro


The tech giant previously planned to begin mass production of the two unspecified MacBooks in May or June, Nikkei Asia reports in an English version of a story about iPhone 12 mini production originally published by Nikkei on Wednesday. While an exact timeline was not fleshed out, a push into the second half of the year lines up with expectations aired by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other insiders.

Today's report fails to specify which MacBook Pro models will reach the assembly line, though predictions suggest Apple is primed to introduce a 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2021. Both laptops are anticipated to sport Apple Silicon chips -- potentially second-generation "M1X" or "M2" designs that build on the M1.

According to Kuo, the two upcoming MacBook Pros will benefit from mini LED screens, a redesigned chassis, and the return of MagSafe charging technology. Also making a comeback are expanded I/O options including an HDMI port and an SD card reader, while the much-maligned Touch Bar will be replaced by physical function keys. Many of Kuo's predictions were echoed by Bloomberg in January.

Kuo expects a launch in the third quarter, while others are quoting a debut date sometime in 2021.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    quote: “Today's report fails to specify which…” Apple Silicon chip will power the devices.
    Will the run with two M1? There will be a N1?

    From my point of view, a M1X —following A-series naming— won't be enough!
    d_2
  • Reply 2 of 31
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 442member
    Well, if it’s November then I suspect M2.

    But I think earlier M1X laptops with twice the performance cores and twice the gpu cores of the M1 would be more than enough for a laptop.

    The M1 CPU is roughly equivalent to the 2019 i9 iMac I got (GPU aside), so twice that performance in a laptop would be something great imho.


    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Depending on how "well" are selling Intel versions of 13" MBP Apple may update them with less powerful version of M1X. That is my thought. Is second half of year means summer. Otherwise it will be 14" redesigned one with M2.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    dk49dk49 Posts: 85member
    I read somewhere few days back that Apple is expected to announce new Macbooks this March. So did that got delayed or these are another set being launched in Q3 2021?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    “Much-maligned touchbar”?  I would have used something like innovative, versatile, product-defining, or beloved instead.  I’m really hoping that Apple doesn’t listen to the vocal minority this time around.  Outside this forum are there that many people who long to emulate a VT-100 or otherwise has a need for 20th-century-holdover physical F-keys?  Setting volume and brightness is so my better with a slider rather than buttons. Having clearly labeled context-sensitive virtual buttons is clearly better than cryptic, static keys. Don’t go backwards, Apple. 
    DaRevwilliamlondonlkruppibillrmusikantowd_2jibroundaboutnowfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    pmcpmc Posts: 7member
    Oh give me a break. Vocal minority.

    I work in the field with users and I have asked nearly everyone with a touchbar laptop what they think of the touchbar. I’ve literally not once had a person say they use it. Not one time. 

    It’s a trash feature, nobody uses it. The lack of a physical escape key means tons of accidental escape uses. Yes I know there is one now. 

    It’s a worse than useless design and if it goes away I will purchase a football to spike. 
    williamlondonlkruppdm3sportyguy209muthuk_vanalingambala1234ozzieboy
  • Reply 7 of 31
    thedbathedba Posts: 567member
    dk49 said:
    I read somewhere few days back that Apple is expected to announce new Macbooks this March. So did that got delayed or these are another set being launched in Q3 2021?
    Chances are that the March event is going to focus on iPad Pro. The next Mac event should also announce some major re-design for them. That leaves either WWDC or late fall separate from the iPhone event. 
    But who knows, Apple may surprise us in March. 

    P.S. Another reason why Apple may want to wait for a late fall Mac event, is to be able to get an audience in at the SJ theatre. By then vaccinations should be close to finished in the US at least. 
    edited March 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,994member
    dk49 said:
    I read somewhere few days back that Apple is expected to announce new Macbooks this March. So did that got delayed or these are another set being launched in Q3 2021?
    We’re talking about rumors here, not facts. Remember that always.
    bala1234
  • Reply 9 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,422member
    aderutter said:
    Well, if it’s November then I suspect M2.

    But I think earlier M1X laptops with twice the performance cores and twice the gpu cores of the M1 would be more than enough for a laptop.

    The M1 CPU is roughly equivalent to the 2019 i9 iMac I got (GPU aside), so twice that performance in a laptop would be something great imho.



    And in all seriousness, they both don't need to double or match each other. Apple could very well design an M1 with 6 HP CPU cores and 20 GPU cores, if they wanted. Although, it would be a lot cheaper for Apple to go big in their design and then start binning those that fall short, much in the same way Intel does.

    I also don't think Apple is going with the A-series naming convention. It will be the M1, M2, M3... and each generation will have multiple part numbers depending on configuration, basically it will be the same thing they did with the G3, G4, and G5. We're already seeing that with the M1... it's "M1" with 8 or 7 GPU cores. With the A-series, it was A12X with 7 GPU cores, but A12Z with 8 cores.

    I think there will be one or two more M1-based systems released, but there won't be any "pro" systems until the M2.
    edited March 10 d_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    pmc said:
    Oh give me a break. Vocal minority.

    I work in the field with users and I have asked nearly everyone with a touchbar laptop what they think of the touchbar. I’ve literally not once had a person say they use it. Not one time. 

    It’s a trash feature, nobody uses it. The lack of a physical escape key means tons of accidental escape uses. Yes I know there is one now. 

    It’s a worse than useless design and if it goes away I will purchase a football to spike. 
    Bull. Shit.  Also you realize that Apple has included both a physical escape key and a touch bar, right?  They aren't mutually exclusive.  So go back and ask "everyone" how often they use F1-F12.
    rmusikantowd_2roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    dm3dm3 Posts: 163member
    pmc said:
    Oh give me a break. Vocal minority.

    I work in the field with users and I have asked nearly everyone with a touchbar laptop what they think of the touchbar. I’ve literally not once had a person say they use it. Not one time. 

    It’s a trash feature, nobody uses it. The lack of a physical escape key means tons of accidental escape uses. Yes I know there is one now. 

    It’s a worse than useless design and if it goes away I will purchase a football to spike. 
    Bull. Shit.  Also you realize that Apple has included both a physical escape key and a touch bar, right?  They aren't mutually exclusive.  So go back and ask "everyone" how often they use F1-F12.
    Touchbar is a remarkably bad design from a UX perspective. Mixed paradigms. The screen is where you're looking. The keyboard is where you don't have to look, can touch type, have feedback when you press a key. Having a row of keys on the keyboard as a touch screen breaks the basic paradigm forcing the user to stop looking at the display and look at the keyboard instead.

    There's nothing you can do with the Touch Bar that couldn't be done with some section of the display and use existing mechanisms to touch, ie mouse, trackpad.
    Having a changing touchscreen on the keyboard defeats the purpose of having a keyboard separate from the screen.
    It would make more sense to have a touchscreen display. Its been done... such as iPhone, iPad etc. But Apple won't do it because Microsoft has already done it and Apple doesn't want to be seen following Microsoft no matter how much it may make sense. 

    I, for one, will be very glad to see the touchbar go away. As you point out, they've already started making it go away by bringing back the Escape key. Thats only a recent change. On my work laptop I'm stuck with the full touchbar with troubles related to being able to hit the escape key, troubles accidentally brushing the touchbar and having some random action occur. I touch-type so I never look at what the touchbar may be displaying that is unique to an app. I adjust display brightness, volume. Things that I can do more easily with the specific function keys on the regular keyboard.

    edited March 10 sportyguy209muthuk_vanalingamentropysMplsPozzieboy
  • Reply 12 of 31
    techconctechconc Posts: 147member
    pmc said:
    Oh give me a break. Vocal minority.

    I work in the field with users and I have asked nearly everyone with a touchbar laptop what they think of the touchbar. I’ve literally not once had a person say they use it. Not one time. 

    It’s a trash feature, nobody uses it. The lack of a physical escape key means tons of accidental escape uses. Yes I know there is one now. 

    It’s a worse than useless design and if it goes away I will purchase a football to spike. 
    Seems like the opposite to me.  There is a vocal minority that trashes the Touch Bar for some reason.  I use it. It's fine.  It's not a major breakthrough on user experience just as it's not the end of the world either.  

    mjtomlin said:
    And in all seriousness, they both don't need to double or match each other. Apple could very well design an M1 with 6 HP CPU cores and 20 GPU cores, if they wanted. Although, it would be a lot cheaper for Apple to go big in their design and then start binning those that fall short, much in the same way Intel does.

    I also don't think Apple is going with the A-series naming convention. It will be the M1, M2, M3... and each generation will have multiple part numbers depending on configuration, basically it will be the same thing they did with the G3, G4, and G5. We're already seeing that with the M1... it's "M1" with 8 or 7 GPU cores. With the A-series, it was A12X with 7 GPU cores, but A12Z with 8 cores.

    I think there will be one or two more M1-based systems released, but there won't be any "pro" systems until the M2.
    It will be interesting to see how Apple segments their Macs by chip category.  It will also be interesting to see if the Apple Silicon chip readiness is the hold-up for new product releases.

    For example.  I believe we've seen all of the M1 class Macs there will be.  Higher end laptops will get a different chip just as iMacs will, etc.  Will they go M1x, M1y, M1z as the naming convention?  Probably.  However, you're right... we're all assuming Apple will double the core count for CPU and GPU based on rumors.  There is no reason that has to be the case though.  There is a variety of different directions this can go.

    With the M1 Macs, Apple didn't change the form factor.  I think there are a couple of reasons for this.  Not changing the form factor really helps isolate the advantages that are due to Apple Silicon alone.  They probably also didn't want to tip their hat with new designs and have leaks about that which would speculate on Apple Silicon being involved. So, the question is, when the next chip is available, M1x? will we see a joint release for all of the products that will use this chip?  Higher end laptops, iMacs, etc?... or we will we have to wait until there is a redesign of these products as well?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 413member
    Hey. How about physical function keys and a touchbar. Everyone goes home happy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,422member
    techconc said:
    pmc said:
    Oh give me a break. Vocal minority.

    I work in the field with users and I have asked nearly everyone with a touchbar laptop what they think of the touchbar. I’ve literally not once had a person say they use it. Not one time. 

    It’s a trash feature, nobody uses it. The lack of a physical escape key means tons of accidental escape uses. Yes I know there is one now. 

    It’s a worse than useless design and if it goes away I will purchase a football to spike. 
    Seems like the opposite to me.  There is a vocal minority that trashes the Touch Bar for some reason.  I use it. It's fine.  It's not a major breakthrough on user experience just as it's not the end of the world either.  

    mjtomlin said:
    And in all seriousness, they both don't need to double or match each other. Apple could very well design an M1 with 6 HP CPU cores and 20 GPU cores, if they wanted. Although, it would be a lot cheaper for Apple to go big in their design and then start binning those that fall short, much in the same way Intel does.

    I also don't think Apple is going with the A-series naming convention. It will be the M1, M2, M3... and each generation will have multiple part numbers depending on configuration, basically it will be the same thing they did with the G3, G4, and G5. We're already seeing that with the M1... it's "M1" with 8 or 7 GPU cores. With the A-series, it was A12X with 7 GPU cores, but A12Z with 8 cores.

    I think there will be one or two more M1-based systems released, but there won't be any "pro" systems until the M2.
    It will be interesting to see how Apple segments their Macs by chip category.  It will also be interesting to see if the Apple Silicon chip readiness is the hold-up for new product releases.

    For example.  I believe we've seen all of the M1 class Macs there will be.  Higher end laptops will get a different chip just as iMacs will, etc.  Will they go M1x, M1y, M1z as the naming convention?  Probably.  However, you're right... we're all assuming Apple will double the core count for CPU and GPU based on rumors.  There is no reason that has to be the case though.  There is a variety of different directions this can go.

    With the M1 Macs, Apple didn't change the form factor.  I think there are a couple of reasons for this.  Not changing the form factor really helps isolate the advantages that are due to Apple Silicon alone.  They probably also didn't want to tip their hat with new designs and have leaks about that which would speculate on Apple Silicon being involved. So, the question is, when the next chip is available, M1x? will we see a joint release for all of the products that will use this chip?  Higher end laptops, iMacs, etc?... or we will we have to wait until there is a redesign of these products as well?

    Personally I tend to think that the current M1 was designed as a laptop SoC, specifically for the MacBook Air, but the performance of it was much higher then they expected, so they decided to thrown it in the MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

    Desktops do not need LPDRAM and they don't need 4 efficiency cores. So if there is an M1X, it'll be the desktop variant of the M1 with an emphasis on performance over efficiency... less efficiency cores, higher core clock rates, more memory, more PCIe lanes, etc.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    techconctechconc Posts: 147member
    mjtomlin said:

    Personally I tend to think that the current M1 was designed as a laptop SoC, specifically for the MacBook Air, but the performance of it was much higher then they expected, so they decided to thrown it in the MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

    Desktops do not need LPDRAM and they don't need 4 efficiency cores. So if there is an M1X, it'll be the desktop variant of the M1 with an emphasis on performance over efficiency... less efficiency cores, higher core clock rates, more memory, more PCIe lanes, etc.
    In an interview, Craig Federhighi famously said:
    "“We overshot,” says Federighi. “You have these projects where, sometimes you have a goal and you’re like, ‘well, we got close, that was fine’. This one, part of what has us all just bouncing off the walls here – just smiling – is that as we brought the pieces together, we’re like, ‘this is working better than we even thought it would.’
    “We started getting back our battery life numbers, and we’re like, ‘You’re kidding. I thought we had people that knew how to estimate these things’.”

    I don't think he's saying the performance was higher than expected.  He was really referring to battery life being better than they expected.  They're not going to put out Macs that have less performance than an iPad Pro.  They knew the performance they'd get from the M1, that was by design.

    Desktops don't need 4 efficiency cores, but they can still benefit from them.  This plays into Apple's idea of an active sleep mode whereby basic chores and housekeeping can actually be done when a device is "sleeping" or in a lower power state mode. 

    Also, one of the deficiencies with the M1 is the lack of PCI lanes / USB 4 controllers.  The M1 chip will NOT be sufficient for higher end Macbooks that need more ports.  An M1x will have to support more memory, enable more USB 4 ports and have additional CPU and GPU cores.  That might be fine for higher level Macbooks and maybe a lower level iMac.  The top end iMac will need substantially more powerful GPU.  Just doubling the M1 GPU cores probably wouldn't be enough. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,879member
    It doesn’t matter what people think of the Touch Bar. Developers have not embraced it, or exploited its potential. That is why you don’t see iMac keyboards with a touchbar.
    Consequently, it is under-utilised and just adds significant cost to the laptop. So, I guess Apple could just keep including it until judgement day in the hope developers finally embrace it, or just give up and move on.
    MplsPtht
  • Reply 17 of 31
    techconctechconc Posts: 147member
    entropys said:
    It doesn’t matter what people think of the Touch Bar. Developers have not embraced it, or exploited its potential. That is why you don’t see iMac keyboards with a touchbar.
    Consequently, it is under-utilised and just adds significant cost to the laptop. So, I guess Apple could just keep including it until judgement day in the hope developers finally embrace it, or just give up and move on.
    The Touch Bar includes Touch ID.  You'd never see that on a stand-alone keyboard for security reasons. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,879member
    MacBook Air does not have the touchbar and has Touch ID.

    the touchbar was a potentially good idea that hasn’t worked out. Let it go.
    edited March 10 MplsPmuthuk_vanalingamozzieboy
  • Reply 19 of 31
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,931member
    I agree with (most of the) people on the Touch Bar - it’s a gimmicky feature that had some potential but has been ignored by the vast majority of people. The main thing I use it for is picking out an emoji. Meh. I also frequently use it accidentally when my hand overshoots a number key and i accidentally touch the Touch Bar, so it’s definitely an annoyance there. All in all, if you asked the majority of users if they’d rather have a Touch Bar or have $200 off the price of their laptop I don’t think you’d see too many Touch Bars around. 

    As far as MacBooks go, I think it’s kind of a given that we’ll see more new MacBooks this year. They announced Apple Silicon in June, 2020 and gave a 2 year timeframe. We’re already almost half way through that. The real question is what’s going to happen with iMacs and the Mac Pro. Andrew O’Hara’s article a few days ago about replacing his Mac Pro with an M1 MacBook Air was very illuminating. His main complaints were that the MBA only had 2 lightning ports and the hard drive was too small - quite remarkable. The M1 performance and suitability for a Mac Pro is currently hamstrung by memory and the lack of a dedicated graphics card. My guess is Apple will release a next generation processor that addresses these issues for the Mac Pro and possibly for the iMac. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    “Much-maligned touchbar”?  I would have used something like innovative, versatile, product-defining, or beloved instead.  I’m really hoping that Apple doesn’t listen to the vocal minority this time around.  Outside this forum are there that many people who long to emulate a VT-100 or otherwise has a need for 20th-century-holdover physical F-keys?  Setting volume and brightness is so my better with a slider rather than buttons. Having clearly labeled context-sensitive virtual buttons is clearly better than cryptic, static keys. Don’t go backwards, Apple. 
    As for function keys, if you consider the ESC. key to be a function key then yes they are needed.   As for VT100 emulation, this may sound strange but there is still working hardware/software out there that expects to communicate with VT100's.

    Beyond that Apple really needs to learn that being an ass isn't placing them in a good light.   The touch bar is not a bad idea, it is the implementation that is the issue.   When you completely delete functionality like function keys you basically are telling your users you don't care about their often massive investments in software.   It also dismisses that some software uses the function keys effectively.

    The touchbar or something like it really isn't a bad idea as a general concept.   The problem is they deleted very important functionality for many users with a replacement that wasn't ergonomic.   Such a supplemental touch screen has a lot of potential if they could get developers to make use of the hardware.   This is the second problem, there is no cross platform solution to encourage developers to move to the tech.    On top of that Apple limited the tech to a handful of Macs when it should have been implemented across the board.    That includes touch bar keyboards for desktop Macs and even Mac Air. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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