Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference to Launch New 2021 M1X MacBook Pro
For a second year, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21) will kick off in a virtual-only experience. Every year, WWDC begins with a massive keynote address that is focused on top headlines for developers. In recent years, the keynote focused solely on software, but with Apple rapidly moving its newest hardware to M1 silicon, Apple’s system on a chip, new pro-level hardware is rumored to launch.
M1X MacBook Pro and Mac mini Rumors
The opening keynote, while very technically minded at previous WWDC events, is still a great way for average consumers to see what new capabilities their iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, and Apple TV devices will receive when the newest operating system launches in September.
This year, Apple is rumored to launch or at least announce upcoming hardware at the June 7 keynote at 10 a.m. PDT. Notably, the MacBook Pro device, which is the primary workhorse for nomadic developers, is expected to get an upgraded version of Apple’s M1 silicon chipset, which is already present in the 2021 iPad Pro, 2021 iMac, and 2020 MacBook Air, entry-level MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. These existing devices have blown users away with their significant speed performance improvements over Intel-based chips, all while operating almost silently.
WWDC21 is expected to bring the newest version of the M1 chipset to the higher-end MacBook Pro. Armchair pundits are hypothesizing it will be named the M2 or M1X, similar to previous iPad chip nomenclature. An M1X chip would, in theory, even double down on the M1 performance, cranking out speeds previously unseen in laptop benchmarks. The current generation Intel-based $3,000+ 16″ MacBook Pro is the beefiest high-end version and, in some scores, the $999 2020 M1 MacBook Air is more performant–just staggering. This leaves the question, what could a second-generation M1 chip be capable of doing?
Alongside the M1X MacBook Pro, rumors are collecting about a new Mac mini, which would also support the newest chipset. Although the Mac mini received the M1 spec bump last fall, it was not a redesigned model. The new Mac mini is anticipated at about half the volume and feature more I/O.
iPadOS 15 to Upgrade Tablet Abilities
The 2021 M1 iPad Pro shocked reviewers with its speed and generally massive hardware capabilities. It is 50% faster than the 2020 iPad Pro, which itself was impressively fast in hardware benchmarks.
However, this drastic improvement in hardware capabilities is being called into question. Some of your top reviewers, like Dieter Bohn of The Verge, simply stated “It’s an iPad,” meaning everything you currently know and love, just massively faster, but to what end.
Almost all recent iPad Pro reviews from amateur and professional reviewers alike beg the question: what else is the iPad capable of doing? Really, the hardware is no longer holding the tablet back. It has the same architecture as the M1 iMac, entry MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, making it a desktop-class machine.
Although WWDC21 is focused on the developer audience and software improvements to every operating system, rumors are not really uncovering future iPadOS announcements; rather, Apple fans are calling for a drastic change in the tablet’s software abilities to mimic macOS’s desktop abilities. For example: multi-user logins; true multi-app tasking abilities; professional apps like Xcode and Final Cut Pro.
You can watch as all is unveiled on June 7 at 10a.m. PDT via apple.com or Apple’s YouTube channel. Stay tuned with ProClip USA as we break down the announcements.