Apple has introduced three new laptops, powered by the first microprocessor developed in-house for Mac computers, called the M1, which will tie Macs and iPhones closer together.
The announcement was made at a "One More Thing" online event to launch MacBooks with their own chips, which will improve performance and battery life.
The main announcements include:
- A new MacBook Air notebook, which will start at $999, the same as its predecessor, and have up to twice the battery life. It will cost Dh4,199 in the UAE for the general public and Dh3,946.95 for students.
- The M1 will power a new 33-centimetre MacBook Pro notebook, which starts at $1299. It is available for Dh5,399 in the UAE for the general public and Dh5,074.65 for students.
- The new chip will also power the new $699 Mac Mini computer ($100 price drop), which comes without a monitor. Mac Mini is available in the UAE for Dh2,999 for general users and is priced at Dh2,819.25 for students.
- Mac Mini has a core processing unit that is 3.5-times faster than its predecessor and a graphics processing unit that is 6-times faster, offering machine learning capabilities such as face recognition at 15x faster speeds..
- The new products will come out next week, executives said. All new Macs come with Big Sur, the latest version of the desktop operating system. With Big Sur and M1, Mac users can run a greater range of apps. iPhone and iPad apps can also now run directly on the Mac.
“The introduction of three new Macs featuring Apple’s breakthrough M1 chip represents a bold change that was years in the making, and marks a truly historic day for the Mac and for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.
The change of chips is a move away from Intel technology that has powered Mac computers for nearly 15 years.
It will be a boon for Apple computers, the sales of which are overshadowed by its iPhone but still make tens of billions of dollars a year.
Apple hopes developers will create families of apps that work on computers and phones.
The company said the new chip will enable far improved power efficiency for better battery life on laptops, faster graphics and application speeds, quicker processing for machine learning tasks and better security.
Apple said the new MacBook Air’s battery will last up to 18 hours, while the MacBook Pro will last as long as 20.
Apple first said in June that it would begin outfitting Macs with its own chips, building on its decade-long history of designing processors for its iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
At the online event, Mr Cook said that the M1 was by far the most powerful chip his company had created.
"It makes these Macs dramatically faster, provides all-new capabilities with extraordinary battery life, and enables the Mac to run more software than ever," Mr Cook said.
"This is exactly why we are transitioning the Mac to Apple silicon."
Apple's phone chips use computing architecture technology from Arm and are made by outside partners such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.
The partnership between Apple and Intel began in 2005, when late co-founder Steve Jobs outlined a move away from PowerPC processors.
Intel helped Apple to catch up to Windows computers, some of which were more powerful at the time. Apple develops its chips based on designs from Arm.
Shares in Apple were up about 0.2 per cent as the event ended.