The MacBook Pro with M1 — a long-lasting and super-fast evolution from the Intel version released earlier this year — was just the tip of the Apple silicon story.
As CNBC (opens in new tab) reports, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is pointing towards not one but two redesigned MacBook Pros, but the arguable bigger news is that Apple's planning to make the MacBook Air more affordable.
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The new-look MacBook Pros are supposed to arrive in 2021, while the lower-priced MacBook Air is set for 2022.
Kuo did not say how much more affordable the new MacBook Air would be, but we've long expected Apple could drop a MacBook Air at least $100 or $200 less than its current $999 model. Now that Apple's thrown Intel out of the production process for the MacBook, it owns more of the overall supply chain.
Kuo also didn't detail how Apple will change the MacBook Pro's look, but we're excited nonetheless. Apple has kept the same general design for the MacBook Pro since the 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina Display. In 2016, a move to Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports allowed for a thinner MacBook Pro. macOS Big Sur added an iOS-like Control Center, which some think looks like Apple's preparing for a touchscreen Mac — something the company has avoided for a long time.
These laptops, according to Kuo (one of the most reliable and respected Apple prognosticators) will be "among the first" with the mini LED screens that have long been rumored for Apple's laptops.
While Apple's MacBook Pro and Air have had pretty good screens, that's one category — alongside the overall designs of the Apple laptops — that has more or less stayed the same for a long while now.
The mini LED technology allows for improved contrast and overall brightness, and possibly add more categories of HDR support to Apple's laptops. Which makes a lot of sense, if only for Apple's internal content: its Apple TV Plus shows support 4K HDR and Dolby Vision, and so we're not surprised that the company would want its shows to look as great on its own laptops as they appear on the best TVs.
Last year, Kuo predicted we'd see a mini LED iPad Pro in Q3 of 2020, which did not come to be.