On Tuesday, Apple made waves with a surprise product upgrade announcement regarding its MacBooks and powerful, in-house chip series, the M2.
The dual press releases were unusual for a company that has largely pivoted away from January announcements in recent years. Instead, Apple has preferred to coast on fall iPhone demand until spring the following year.
Following the surprise announcement on Tuesday, Apple stock jumped nearly 1.3% in mid-morning trading. Though it closed up just 0.7% for the day, Wednesday morning saw a resurgence as Apple traded up nearly 1.4% by 10:00 ET.
Here’s what you need to know, and how Q.ai can help.
On January 16 – the day before Apple’s announcement – renowned tech leaker and host of Front Page Tech Jon Prosser hinted that big news could be coming. “Keep an eye on Apple’s newsroom tomorrow,” he teased from the FPT Twitter account.
Jon Prosser’s hint is significant largely due to his background of leaking information regarding both Apple and Android tech. Prior to the last year, he had a history of broadcasting surprisingly-accurate tech rumors last-minute.
However, Prosser dialed it down after an embarrassingly inaccurate “leak” about the iPhone 14 before the iPhone 13 even debuted. (Though he issued brief comments on the iPhone SE and AirPods Max in 2020 and the iPhone 14 in 2022.) Since then, he’s largely turned his attention to running Front Page Tech, a tech-based news site and YouTube platform.
This relative lack of leaks in recent months helped elevate the hype surrounding Apple’s Tuesday announcement. But in the hours before the official press releases, Prosser’s position gained notoriety (and direction) after reports circled that a Canadian regulatory database had been updated with a new MacBook Pro lineup five days prior.
And that brings us to Tuesday’s news.
Apple’s official announcement included two press releases.
The first centered around Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup, enhanced with new state-of-the-art “next-generation pro silicon” M2 chips.
The second targeted the M2 chips themselves to paint a comprehensive picture of the future of Apple tech.
The next installation in Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup includes two new 14- and 16-inch models featuring the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Apple reports that these state-of-the-art silicon “bring even more power-efficiency performance and battery life” to users.
The goal: tackling demanding tasks faster than its own Intel
As Apple reports: “Building on the unprecedented power efficiency of Apple silicon, battery life on the MacBook Pro is now up to 22 hours…. For enhanced connectivity, the new MacBook Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E, which is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.”
The new MacBooks will also enjoy “advanced HDMI” that supports “8K displays for the first time.”
According to Apple, the MacBook Pro is a “game changer” that enables professionals to “push the limits” of laptop-based accomplishments. Added Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, “There’s simply nothing else like it.”
MacBook Pro with M2 Pro chips
The new MacBook Pros will give users the option between the M2 Pro or M2 Max chips.
Those laptops with the M2 Pro will enjoy “up to 20% greater performance over M1 Pro.” Features include:
MacBook Pro with M2 Max Chips
Meanwhile, the M2 Max will “push workflows to the extreme” with specs like:
Apple also highlighted macOS Ventura, the current iteration of its operating system released in late 2022. macOS Ventura is designed to work with the new MacBook Pro systems to deliver greater performance and productivity.
In particular, Apple highlighted features like enhanced videoconferencing and FaceTime abilities and its built-in organizational tools.
The company also upgraded apps like Messages, Mail and Safari and introduced a “passwordless future with passkeys.”
To top off their exciting week in tech, Apple boasted that the MacBook Pro is “designed to minimize its impact on the environment.”
Each device recycles various metals and plastics to reduce its environmental footprint. Apple has also switched to 97% fiber-based packaging, bringing Apple closer toward its goal of 100% plastic-free packaging by 2025.
Said Apple, “Today, Apple is carbon neutral for global corporate operations, and by 2030, plans to have net-zero climate impact across the entire business…. This means that every [Apple device], from design to manufacturing, will be 100 percent carbon neutral.”
Apple’s new M2 chip-based lineup will be available for purchase as soon as January 24 across 27 countries and regions, including the U.S. The company will expand into Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia beginning on Friday. Prices will start at $599 for the new Mac mini and $1,999 for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.
Apple’s push to release its new enhanced lineup early is a high-profile realization of its 2020 commitment to design its semiconductors in-house. The move pivoted Apple away from a 15-year partnership with Intel. The company currently partners with Taiwan’s TSMC for manufacturing purposes.
Analysts have noted that Apple’s early launch may be timed not just to surprise customers, but to breathe some hype into an underperforming computer market. The plan worked – at least temporarily, and for its own stock – as Apple shares closed up positively for the day and rode that momentum into Wednesday.
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