Hold up, did Apple just confirm MacBook Pro 2021 with M1X chip?

macOS 11.3
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Apple's rumored new MacBook Pro 2021 laptops were nowhere to be seen at WWDC on Monday, but the official YouTube video of the keynote presentation contains a hint that they may exist after all. 

The terms "M1X MacBook Pro" and "M1X" were both found by Twitter user Max Balzer (via 9to5Mac) among the numerous tags on the video, alongside the likes of "iOS 15" and "wwdc 2021". That may indicate that Apple did at some point have new laptops to show off — although it's also possible that Cupertino just knows how to play the Google search traffic game.

Rumors point to Apple launching two new MacBook Pros this year, a MacBook Pro 2021 14-inch and MacBook Pro 2021 16-inch, both powered by a M1X or M2 chip. 

Balzer found the tags by using the Chrome extension TubeBuddy to reveal all of the terms included in Apple's keynote video on YouTube. We've tried it ourselves and can confirm that the tags are present.

Before WWDC, prominent leakers and analysts including Jon Prosser, Mark Gurman, Ming-Chi Kuo all said Apple would reveal new MacBook models in the Apple keynote. With the information coming from so many sources, a MacBook announcement seemed like a dead cert right up until the event.

Many of these rumors suggested that the new hardware would feature a so-called M1X chip; this would be the second generation of Apple's in-house designed chipsets, or at least an update to the original Apple M1 chip found in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and recently the iPad Pro 2021.

It's possible that these claims were true at some point, but Apple canceled the MacBook reveals at the last minute. One potential reason for that would be the ongoing worldwide chip shortage, which could have forced Apple to reconsider the timing of the MacBook launch to make sure it could accommodate demand.

However, a less exciting explanation is also possible: with so many prominent claims about the new MacBooks, search traffic for the related terms will have been high. So Apple may have used the tags simply to direct people to the keynote video, in order that Apple fans could hear the official news (or rather lack of it) for themselves. 

Either way, with dreams of a WWDC announcement dead, our thoughts have turned to when we might see the rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, if indeed they do exist. 

The latest prediction, from Nikkei Asia, claims the vague time window of the second half of 2021, rather than May/June as others had stated before. That covers Apple's big fall release window, including the expected iPhone 13 launch period in September, as well as the year anniversary of the original M1 MacBooks being revealed in November.

If the new, more powerful, M-series chip isn't enough to convince you that you want one of these rumored new MacBooks, there are other features said to be coming too. For instance, the next-gen MaBook Pros are tipped to use mini-LED displays like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for brighter, richer colors and contrast, and Apple could bring back the MagSafe power connector that got removed some years ago.

But if you want a MacBook Pro right now, then check out our round-up of upcoming Amazon Prime Day deals 2021, as you might be able to find a MacBook bargain. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.