Apple could unveil a new version of its MacBook Pro laptop at an event tonight, alongside the long-awaited AirPods 3 wireless earphones, reports claim.
The latest edition of the MacBook Pro is expected to come in 14 and 16-inch versions, with a ‘significant redesign’ over current models, according to rumours.
Reports suggest Apple will re-introduce ports missing since the 2016 refresh, including an SD card slot and HDMI port, alongside the USB-C and headphone jack.
AirPods 3 are also rumoured to be ‘ready to go,’ and will likely include a redesigned case and shorter stem, as seen in the Pro edition.
At this point these are purely rumours, as Apple won’t announce anything official until the event itself, which is set to start at 13:00 ET (18:00 BST) today.
Apple is expected to unveil a new version of its MacBook Pro laptop at an event tonight, alongside the long-awaited AirPods 3 wireless earphones, reports claim
The 16 inch version of the MacBook Pro is one of the most anticipated refreshes, as the last major update was five years ago – so it also the most likely to happen.
There could also be a new Mac Mini and Mac Pro confirmed at the event, but they are less likely than the MacBook Pro or the AirPods 3.
Apple is expected to confirm both a 14 and 16 inch version of the MacBook Pro, both with the new M1 chip, fully removing Intel processors from the MacBook lineup.
The latest edition of the MacBook Pro is expected to come in 14 and 16-inch versions, with a ‘significant redesign’ over current models, according to rumours
Major chip shortage could force Apple to slash production of 10 MILLION iPhones
The new iPhone 13 may be hard to get hold of this Christmas, after a new report claims Apple has had to cut production by up to 10 million units due to a chip shortage.
The ongoing computer chip shortage, caused by the impact of the Covid pandemic, has already hit stocks of the Playstation 5, some cars and other smartphones.
This is the first time it has been suggested Apple’s flagship device will also be affected, according to Bloomberg, which says a range of components are hard to come by, including those made by Texas Instruments and Broadcom.
Apple said it expected to produce 90 million new iPhone 13 devices in the final three months of 2021, but this has been revised down to about 80 million.
They are rumoured to come with design changes that make a nod to the past, including the end of the ‘love it or hate it’ interactive OLED ‘Touch Bar’ above the keyboard, instead returning to a standard row of function keys.
It is also expected to include an HDMI port and SD card slot, in addition to the two USB-C ports and headphone jack found on current models.
Overall, the machines are expected to look relatively similar to the current generation, but with thinner bezels and a more ‘flat-edged’ look.
Rumours suggest Apple will include MagSafe charging, with a breakaway charging port, similar to the ones removed in the 2016 refresh but with fast USB-C charging.
The new MacBooks are also rumoured to include a notch at the top of the screen to house the webcam, rather than a thick black strip – similar to the one seen in the iPhone 12.
Other rumours include a thicker base to allow room for larger fans to keep it cool, and a black keyboard notch, rather than just black keys on a grey base.
The screen is expected to use mini-LED technology, allowing it to be thinner and lighter, which could offset the thicker base.
The larger fans rumoured to be in the base could be because of the rumour that it will come with 120Hz ProMotion refresh rates, bringing smoother gameplay.
Leaks, seen in the macOS Monterey update documentation, suggest that the 16 inch model will have a 3456 x 2234 resolution.
It will come with the new, more powerful M1X processor, with potentially up to a 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU, including energy-efficient cores for battery life.
The webcam in the new MacBook pro is also rumoured to be getting an upgrade to 1080p, the first upgrade since the 2016 model introduced a 720p camera.
Apple’s wireless earphones, the AirPods, have proven to be a big hit for the California firm, and the latest edition of the basic model could be announced tonight.
It isn’t certain that the earphones will be confirmed, as rumours suggested they’d be announced at the September iPhone event, and it didn’t happen.
AirPods 3 are also rumoured to be ‘ready to go,’ according to reports, and will likely include a redesigned case and shorter stem, seen in the Pro edition (pictured)
But insiders suggest they are ready to go and, so could be announced tonight. If not experts predict they may not be confirmed until next year.
The new generation of AirPods, the AirPods 3, are expected to be closer in look to the AirPod Pro line with a thinner stalk and redesigned case.
To keep the price down, compared to the Pro line, they won’t include features like Active Noise Cancellation.
They are also unlikely to include the silicon tips found in the Pro models, and be of a similar in-ear design to the AirPod 2, but with a shorter stem and new case.
They could also be the first to include a new wireless chip that could improve battery life and greater range over existing models, but Apple may hold that for the next AirPod Pro models.
High-end Mac Mini
With the release of the new M1X chip in the MacBook Pro models being rumoured, we could also see it appear in a new Mac Mini.
The design of the Mac Mini wouldn’t change much, according to rumours, but may be a little smaller and have glass on the top of an aluminium enclosure
This is unlikely compared to the MacBook rumour, but Apple is said to be working on a new high-end version of the micro-desktop machine.
It could be similar in power to the the new MacBook Pro, but in a small box that requires a separate screen, much like any desktop computer.
The design wouldn’t change much, according to rumours, but may be a little smaller and have glass on the top of an aluminium enclosure.
It would come with HDMI, USB-A, Ethernet, Thunderbolt and USB-C ports, as well as a MagSafe power port, according to rumours.
It would replace the Intel Mac Mini, further removing Intel chips from the line up.
Other possible releases
A number of other announcements are possible, but much less likely, including a new MacBook Air, a larger iMac and a Mac Pro.
Like the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro, the latest version of the Mac Pro is expected to feature a smaller chassis and a high end Apple chip that could have up to 40-cores
The next generation MacBook Air is rumoured to have a mini-LED display, the new Apple chip and come in multiple colours.
But the next refresh, based on existing Apple schedules, isn’t expected until 2022, making its announcement tonight unlikely.
Like the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro, the latest version of the Mac Pro is expected to feature a smaller chassis and a high end Apple chip that could have up to 40-cores.
But very few details have been leaked and little is know, so this is unlikely to be released this year.
This is similar to the larger iMac, which is heavily rumoured, but very little is known beyond the fact it will have a bigger display and faster chip.
Apple Watch Series 7 review roundup: Bigger face and a new look, but is it worth paying $399?
By and large, the reviews were positive on Apple’s latest smartwatch, with some heaping praise on the faster charging and stronger, more durable design, even if they felt like it was a ‘slightly better’ version of last year’s Apple Watch Series 6.
The tech giant boasts that this device is its ‘most durable Apple Watch ever, with a stronger, more crack-resistant front crystal’
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Nguyen said the watch is ‘slightly better’ than its predecessor, noting it does not have new health sensors and the same 18-hour battery life, but it’s worth a purchase.
These incremental refinements add up to a better—though not significantly better—watch experience,’ Nguyen wrote.
‘If you liked the Apple Watch before, you’re going to like this one. If you weren’t already convinced you needed a $399 wrist computer, the Series 7 probably won’t convert you.
But if you’re an iPhone user thinking about your first smartwatch, you’ll want to consider this.’
Nguyen said the Apple Watch SE is a better deal for budget-conscious shoppers, but the Series 7 is the best watch to get right now.
‘The Series 7 is the best Apple Watch you can buy right now, but if you already have a 5 or 6, maybe hold off until next year for additional health capabilities,’ she added.
CNet reviewer Lisa Eadicicco also called it a ‘slightly better’ version of the Series 6, but appreciates the larger screen compared to past models.
‘The Apple Watch Series 7 stands out for its bigger screen, despite the fact that progress in the tech industry is usually synonymous with making gadgets smaller, lighter and more compact,’ Eadicicco wrote.
However, the reviewer said the Series 7 does not have a ‘generational upgrade’ like other past versions, though this is not a ‘snub against it.’
‘The Series 7 feels more like a refined version of a watch we already love — the Series 6 — rather than a major upgrade,’ Eadicicco wrote.
‘And since it’s the same price as its predecessor, the Series 7 is a promising option for first-time Apple Watch buyers or those upgrading from an older watch.’
TechCrunch reviewer Brian Heater was impressed with the bigger screen and the faster charging capabilities over previous versions.
‘The biggest day to day change … is the addition of a full QWERTY keyboard for text input, either by tapping or sliding between letters with QuickPath,’ Heater wrote.
‘I’m surprised at how well both worked on the small screen. As soon as you open up the application, an “Apple Watch Keyboard Input” notification will pop up on your connected iPhone, asking if you’d like to input the text on iOS.’
He notes the USB-C charger is 33 percent faster than the Series 6 charger, giving users an 80 percent charger in 45 minutes.
‘What that means in practical terms is a full night’s charge in less than 10 minutes,’ Heater added. ‘So if you’re strategic about charging, you can effectively wear it day and night.’