Apple on Monday unveiled at an hour-long virtual event new MacBook computers powered by processors made by Apple and an updated model of its popular AirPods.
Last year, Apple launched a new line of computers with processors made by Apple with the help of a manufacturing partner, breaking its reliance on chipmaker Intel. The company said at the time that the new chip, called M1, would make Apple devices faster and more energy efficient.
The new processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, power a new MacBook Pro available in 14- and 16-inch models, starting at $ 2,000 and $ 2,500. Upgraded computers will have faster processing speeds, better graphics, improved audio quality, and a better camera, the company said.
Apple has also rolled back some of the modifications to its laptops over the years, bowing to consumer demand by getting rid of the unpopular Touch Bar, a touchscreen strip above the keyboard, and adding ports for an HDMI cable and an SD memory card.
Apple also released a third generation AirPods with better audio quality and longer battery life, for $ 179 – a $ 20 increase over the second iteration of the product – along with a new subscription. Apple Music.
Apple computers helped build the company into a famous brand, but the Mac line – luxury devices that typically cost over $ 900 – has always been a small fry in the PC market. In the last quarter, Apple computers accounted for 7.4% of the global PC market, far behind Lenovo, HP and Dell, which accounted for more than 60% of sales, according to research firm IDC.
Apple’s AirPods have been extremely popular since their debut in 2016. Wireless headphones are the best sellers among “hearable,” wireless headphones with sensors that communicate with phones. This year, AirPods accounted for 57% of the premium headphone market, far ahead of Samsung, which had 17%, according to a Counterpoint Research report.
Apple’s announcement on Monday came just over a month after the tech giant unveiled a new line of iPhones – the iPhone 13 series – an improved Apple Watch and a new iPad.