Apple Silicon Macs to be announced by November

Apple has so far only said that the first Apple Silicon Macs will be launched by the end of the year, but a new report today says that they will be announced by November.

The report also indicates Apple’s plans to differentiate the new iPad Air expected to be announced tomorrow from the much more expensive iPad Pro …

Bloomberg carries the report, which is mostly a roundup of what we’re expecting from tomorrow’s event. It doubles down on no iPhone 12 launch at the event.

Apple’s event will also be notable for what won’t be unveiled: new iPhones. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted final testing of new 5G models earlier this year and delayed the company’s ability to kick off mass production. Apple now plans to announce its four new iPhones in October, marking the latest iPhone announcement since 2011. Some of the phones could even ship later than the iPhone X, which went on sale Nov. 3, 2017.

What we’re expecting instead are:

  • Apple Watch Series 6, with blood oxygen monitor
  • New low-end Apple Watch model
  • New iPad Air, with same thin bezels as the iPad Pro
  • Likely announcement of Apple One service bundles

There’s been no word yet on the launch of AirTags, smaller HomePod, or over-ear headphones, suggesting that these may wait until the iPhone event next month, but it’s not impossible that one or more may be included in tomorrow’s announcements.

First Apple Silicon Macs announcement in November

The main piece of new information in the report is a single sentence on the new ARM-powered Macs.

By November, the company is planning to announce new Mac computers with its own chips. 

It should be noted that this says ‘announce’ rather than ‘launch,’ leaving open the possibility that they will be announced then but only go on sale in December.

The most recent Apple Silicon Mac news was that chip production for the new devices was on schedule for a Q4 launch. An earlier report suggested that one of the first ARM-powered Macs will be a revamped version of the 12-inch MacBook with a target battery life of 15-20 hours. This could put it into head-to-head competition with the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard for some of us.

iPad differentiation

With Apple expected to unveil a new iPad Air with the same form factor as the iPad Pro, one big question was how Apple would differentiate the new device from its far more expensive brother. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman sheds a little light on this.

For Tuesday, Apple is also readying its first update to the iPad Air since re-launching the line in March 2019. The new model will look similar to the iPad Pro by replacing the home button with an all-screen look. It will use a slower processor and lack some features such as the iPad Pro’s ProMotion screen.

A new mid-tier iPad could continue to juice Apple sales as consumers look for devices to help them work and learn from home. The current iPad Air costs $499, far less than the $799 price of the iPad Pro. A tablet that looks similar to the iPad Pro but at a much lower price could make the new iPad Air a hot holiday season seller.

Many more well-heeled iPad buyers are likely buying the Pro over the entry-level iPad more for its design than its innards, so personally I’d still expect the new Air to become the new default iPad – especially if it is compatible with the Magic keyboard. But the ProMotion screen would enable Apple to push some professional users to the more expensive model, and of course, those who want the largest screen will have the iPad Pro as their only option.

We’ll of course be bringing you live coverage from tomorrow’e event.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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