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Apple Debuts New AirPods and Redesigned MacBook Pros

Apple revealed its improved AirPods and redesigned MacBook Pro on Monday. Credit: Maurizio Pesce, CC BY 2.0

Apple revealed the latest generation of AirPods and redesigned MacBook Pro laptops during a livestreamed event on Monday.

CEO Tim Cook presented the transformed earbuds and reimagined laptops to a rapt audience, where the big draw was the company’s new MacBook Pro, which marks Apple’s shift to using their very own computer chip technology instead of Intel’s.

The third generation AirPods closely resemble the current Airpods Pro’s shorter tips, and have an enhanced speaker with higher quality audio and improved battery life that allows for six hours of listening in between charges.

The AirPods have also been adapted to run spatial adudio for movies and television. The new earbuds will retail at $179 and will be available on October 26.

The new MacBook Pro is a big milestone for Apple, as the model represents the most dramatic change in one of the company’s staple products. Apple has not altered the MacBook Pro this significantly since 2012. The laptops have larger screens, with 14.2 inch and 16.2 inch displays for customers to choose between. Both screens have miniLED and 120Hz ProMotion like their iPad Pro counter parts, and the added tech boasts better brightness and HDR capabilities.

Apple has also brought back more ports to the laptop, a feature they had downsized significantly in 2016 in order to refine their minimalist approach. This simplicity proved unpopular, and the company has added three Thunderbold ports, HDMI and SD card slots, and a MagSafe 3 magnetic charging system.

The computers also feature Apple’s new M1 Pro and Max chips, which have 10-core processors and can contain 64 GB of memory. The chips also have drastically improved battery life and graphics.

The 14.2 inch screen MacBook Pro stars at $1,999 and the 16.2 inch MacBook Pro $2,499, and will be released on the same day as the AirPods: October 26.

Apple’s latest operating system, macOS monterery, will be available on October 25, the day before the MacBook Pros and AirPods ship.

Apple announces new AirPods and MacBook Pros shortly after iPhone 13 production cuts

This product launch comes less than a week after the company reportedly had to cut production of their new iPhone 13 due to chip shortages.

Apple was projected to manufacture 90 million new iPhones before the end of 2021, but Bloomberg has reported that the company believes that that number may be lowered by as much as 10 million.

Apple is one of the most powerful chip buyers on the planet and dictates the order of the global electronics supply chain. Despite their looming presence, the company is still falling prey to the supply chain issues that have dramatically impacted industries worldwide. Chipmakers have issued stark warnings that supply will not be able to meet the demand for chips into 2022, and possibly after that.

Apple sources the pieces of its phones from Texas Instruments and Broadcom. A TI chip that is currently scarce is used for powering the OLED display of the new iPhone. Apple is also dealing with shortages from different suppliers as well.


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