In its last keynote for the year, Apple finally unveiled its silicon chip, that has the potential to shape more than just the future of its laptop series
When talking about tech, no conversation is complete without Apple products. The company has innovated and launched products in different categories that are lauded for their end-user experience and their premium quality.
Year on year, Apple has introduced products and features that have set them apart from other companies and though not all of them have been popular they have turned heads. Be it the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone, the use of butterfly keyboard on the MacBook or the $1,000 wheels for the Mac Pro. Apple has had its fair share of, for lack of a better word, eccentricities.
With 2020 coming to an end and tech updates coming to a close, Apple has done it again. At the event titled ‘ One More Thing,’ the company unveiled ‘the future’ that will power its Mac range, Apple Silicon. Until now, Apple had been depending on Intel to provide processors for its Mac series, now, however, consumers have the option to choose between MacBooks powered either by Intel or by the Apple silicon, the M1 chips, which will be available starting 17 November. Along with the new chip, the Macs will also be getting the updated Mac OS named macOS Big Sur, that promises better-performing apps and security.
A notable thing about the new Apple silicon is that it will have integrated memory, meaning there will no longer be an option to upgrade the RAM. The processors come with a 16 core neural engine and an 8 core GPU and up to 16 GB unified memory and as per claims made by Apple brings these will some pretty neat changes in their laptop’s performance. As per claims, the M1 chips are 3.5x faster than the chips it’s going to be competing against, with 5x better graphics performance.
So what do the new M1 chips bring for users?
For starters, users as of now, have the option to choose between the Apple M1 powered or the Intel Core-powered MacBooks. However, it must be noted that the difference in battery performance between the two would be enough to change the minds of most buyers. While Intel MacBooks boast around 10 hours of video playback, the new M1 chip powered Macs will last up to 18 hours, according to claims made by Apple at their launch event, which if you ask me, makes the old MacBooks obsolete. As the new M1 chip fulfils the base desire of having a powerful laptop that can be used for long hours without having to dash for the power cable.
Secondly, with apps and OS being tailored for the M1 chip, we do not have a clear idea as to how well the Intel MacBooks will function in the future. Further, in true Apple fashion, with users no longer having the option to upgrade RAM, the company has even tighter control on the user experience which though may not necessarily be a bad thing, might irk many. And lastly, there is no discernible difference in the pricing of the two MacBook ranges.
And what does it mean for Apple?
The new M1 chips give Apple even greater control over the user experience, something it is already famous for. They will have total control over the software, as they always have, and now with their new chips, they have control over the hardware as well. And while the company may not have slashed prices for the new MacBook range, the ever-increasing demand for computers, which has been boosted because of the pandemic, they will be in a better position to control production to keep up with the demand.
This is, in turn, gives them the opportunity to take better advantage of the growing demand for MacBooks, as was witnessed in 2019 and 2020. If Apple is able to replicate even some of the success of the iPhone, then we might have the new challenger to Intel and windows laptops.
Though it will take some time before the potential of Apple silicon is either appreciated or discarded by users, we can be sure that we have a new entrant in the laptop market which till now, based on claims made by Apple, has to the potential to reimagine the way we use our mobile computers.
(Cover image: Apple.com)