Thursday November 1, 2018 7:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
The first benchmark for the 2018 MacBook Air surfaced on Geekbench today, giving us our first look at how the low-power 7W Amber Lake Intel chip in the machine measures up to the performance of other Macs in Apple's lineup.
Equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y chip and 16GB of RAM, the benchmarked MacBook Air earned a single-core score of 4248 and a multi-core score of 7828.
As should be no surprise, it's significantly better than the previous-generation MacBook Air equipped with a 1.8GHz Broadwell processor, which earned a single-core score of 3335 and a multi-core score of 6119.
It's faster than the fastest Core M chip in the 2017 MacBook models, but not by much. The 1.4GHz MacBook earned a single-core score of 3925 and a multi-core score of 7567, while the base model with a 1.2GHz Core M chip earned a single-core score of 3527 and a multi-core score of 6654.
Compared to MacBook Pro models, it's not too far off from the 2018 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor when it comes to single-core performance, but it can't compete with the four cores in the 2018 MacBook Pro. That machine earned a single-core score of 4504 and a multi-core score of 16464.
It's also slower than the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar that Apple still sells, which earned a single-core score of 4314 and a multi-core score of 9071.
2018 MacBook Air - 4248
2017 MacBook Air - 3335
1.4GHz 2017 MacBook - 3925
1.3GHz 2017 MacBook - 3630
1.2GHz 2017 MacBook - 3527
2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro - 4504
2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro - 4314
2018 MacBook Air - 7828
2017 MacBook Air - 6119
1.4GHz 2017 MacBook - 7567
1.3GHz 2017 MacBook - 6974
1.2GHz 2017 MacBook - 6654
2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro - 16464
2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro - 9071
Previous MacBook Air chips used 15W U-series chips from Intel, but the 2018 model is using a lower-power 7W Y-series chip, and there were some concerns about its performance relative to the rest of the Mac lineup.
Based on these Geekbench scores, which aren't necessarily indicative of how these machines will perform in the real world, the MacBook Air is superior to the MacBook lineup at this time, but falls short of the base-level MacBook Pro, which is about right given its price point ($1,199 for the Air vs. $1,299 for the Pro). What the Mac lineup will look like if and when the 12-inch MacBook is refreshed remains to be seen.
Additional benchmarking results should be available soon, as the MacBook Air is set to arrive to the first customers on Wednesday, November 7, and MacBook Air reviews should come out before then.
Wednesday October 31, 2018 2:36 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Following the introduction of new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models at yesterday's event, Apple provided some YouTubers with MacBook Air review units, and the first unboxing videos are now available.
For its last several product releases, Apple has been providing early review units to smaller YouTubers, a strategy that lets us get opinions on the new device from less mainstream sources. Today's unboxing videos provide some interesting MacBook Air tidbits and a first look at Apple's newest notebook.
The MacBook Air features a Retina display with slim black bezels like the MacBook or MacBook Pro, three color options, a slimmer body, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 1.6GHz Core i5 8th-Generation Amber Lake chip from Intel, integrated Intel UHD 617 graphics, a T2 chip for security, built-in Touch ID, a third-generation butterfly keyboard, and a Force Touch trackpad.
Full reviews of the MacBook Air from media sites will be shared next week, and the new machines are set to start arriving to customers who placed an order on November 7.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 4:22 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's newly upgraded MacBook Air is equipped with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, a chip configuration that does not match any of the 8th-generation chips that Intel has announced to date.
Intel, in fact, lists only a single 1.3GHz dual-core processor in ARK, which does not line up with the chip Apple is using in the MacBook Air.
Instead, Apple appears to be using an unannounced Intel chip that, according to AnandTech, is part of the 5W Y-Series Amber Lake chips. Intel announced these Amber Lake chips, traditionally used in the MacBook, back in August.
And while the company never names the specific processor models they use, the specifications here - 3.6GHz turbo with Intel UHD Graphics 617 - do not match any known Intel chip, even when factoring in various cTDP options. We've heard rumors of Intel putting together a Core i5-8210Y, and we've reached out to Intel to try to confirm.
Historically, Apple has used 15W U-series chips in its MacBook Air upgrades, but power wise, this will put the new MacBook Air on par with any future MacBook upgrades that also use Intel's Amber Lake chips.
Though the MacBook Air is now using a lower power Y-series chip, because the previous-generation MacBook Air was still equipped with a Broadwell chip, the new model is still going to see significant performance improvements. Unfortunately, the performance gain isn't going to be as impressive as it would have been had Apple stuck with U-series chips.
Using a 5W chip has allowed Apple to significantly cut down on power consumption, which explains why the MacBook Air has the longest battery life out of any of Apple's notebooks.
The new machine offers up to 12 hours of battery life when web browsing and 13 hours when watching iTunes movie playback, which is two hours more battery life for web browsing and one to three hours more when watching movies compared to the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Apple is only offering a single processor for the MacBook Air, and there are no build-to-order options to upgrade it to a faster speed.
Using a MacBook-class chip in the MacBook Air makes some sense if Apple plans to keep the MacBook in its lineup. With the MacBook Air's slimmer bezels and new Retina display, there's not a lot separating it from the 12-inch MacBook. If it also used U-series chips, it would outperform future MacBook models, and it would make little sense to purchase a MacBook.
This way, the MacBook Air offers a Retina display, MacBook-class performance, and a slimmer body, while the MacBook retains its position as Apple's thinnest, lightest machine, presumably with faster Y-series chips once an upgrade is released.
Apple's revamped MacBook Air can be purchased from the online Apple Store for $1,199, $100 cheaper than the MacBook, but $200 more expensive than the previous-generation MacBook Air.
Update: Intel has added the new MacBook Air chip to its ARK database. As AnandTech guessed, the MacBook Air is using a Core i5-8210Y Amber Lake Y processor, but at 7W, not 5W.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 3:39 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Following today's Apple event at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, where the company unveiled new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models, MacRumors received some hands-on time with the products at a nearby location.
As the iPhone X was to the iPhone, the new iPad Pro represents the most significant redesign of the iPad in its eight-year history, complete with a nearly edge-to-edge display that eschews the home button. That also means no Touch ID, replaced by Face ID, but the TrueDepth sensors fit in the top bezel without a notch.
The new iPad Pro looks and feels incredibly sleek. The bezels have been dramatically reduced in size compared to the previous generation, although they aren't as slim as those on the iPhone X and newer. As good as Apple's palm rejection technology is, the extra space helps prevent unintended tapping and swiping.
I'm not a display expert, but the Liquid Retina display on the new iPad Pro looks crisp with vivid colors. Apple said it is using the same anti-aliasing and other technologies as the iPhone XR to stretch the LCD nearly edge to edge, which is a truly impressive engineering feat. This is the best display on an iPad yet.
The new iPad Pro feels more like a true slate, with sharper, flatter edges complemented by more traditional rounded corners. And at just 5.9mm, the tablet is remarkably thin, with the 11-inch model weighing just over a pound. Both it and the new 12.9-inch model feel about the same weight as their 2017 equivalents though.
Apple has replaced the Lightning connector with a USB-C port to provide creative professionals with a more versatile connectivity solution for pairing accessories and peripherals, such as a 5K external monitor. The USB-C port also has power-out, meaning the new iPad Pro can charge an iPhone and other devices.
On the right edge of the new iPad Pro is a new Magnetic connector. A redesigned Apple Pencil attaches magnetically and begins wirelessly charging instantly. I shook the iPad Pro slightly and the Pencil maintained a strong hold.
Magnetic connector on new iPad Pro
The new Apple Pencil supports a double-tap gesture that can be customized to switch between drawing tools or to show the color palette.
Apple generally doesn't allow benchmarks to be run during its hands-on sessions, so we'll have to wait for that, but the new A12X Bionic chip with an eight-core CPU and seven-core Apple-designed GPU is said to provide up to 90 percent faster multi-core performance with up to twice as fast graphics.
The new iPad Pro packs smaller speakers, yet they are louder and produce stereo sound. Apple's hands-on room was not a good environment to test the speakers, so we'll have to wait until we get the tablet in our hands.
The new iPad Pro starts at $799 in the United States with 64GB of storage. It's available to order starting today ahead of its November 7 release date.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 1:48 pm PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple's event today included brief details about the company's T2 security chip coming to the MacBook Air and Mac mini (it's already in the 2018 MacBook Pro), but a new security guide has shed light onto what exactly the chip does for user privacy (via TechCrunch). According to the guide, on MacBook Air and Pro the chip includes a hardware microphone disconnect feature that ensures the microphone is disabled when the lid is closed.
This is accomplished through hardware so that the microphone becomes physically disabled from the rest of the MacBook hardware every time the lid is closed, preventing any software from engaging the microphone when the user shuts the MacBook. Apple points out that the camera is not disconnected in hardware, because its field of view is already completely obstructed when the MacBook lid is closed.
All Mac portables with the Apple T2 Security Chip feature a hardware disconnect that ensures that the microphone is disabled whenever the lid is closed. This disconnect is implemented in hardware alone, and therefore prevents any software, even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip, from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed. (The camera is not disconnected in hardware because its field of view is completely obstructed with the lid closed.)
Apple says that the T2 chip gives Macs a solid foundation for encrypted storage, secure boot, and Touch ID, all based on dedicated security hardware and the Secure Enclave coprocessor included on the T2 chip. Combined with the security and convenience of Touch ID, Macs with the T2 chip provide "a level of privacy and security protections never before seen on Mac," according to Apple.
Besides its security features, the new 13-inch MacBook Air includes a Retina Display, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a headphone jack, 50 percent smaller display bezels, a reduced footprint, and more. Pre-orders for the device are live today, starting at $1,199.00, and the MacBook Air will officially launch on November 7.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 12:24 pm PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple today announced two new Mac-related device updates, including a new MacBook Air and Mac mini. The refreshed MacBook Air includes an updated keyboard, larger Force Touch trackpad, slimmer display bezels, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, Retina Display, reduced footprint, Touch ID, and Apple's T2 security chip. The Mac mini comes in Space Gray with 8th-generation Intel Core processors, flash storage up to 2 TB, Apple's T2 security chip, and more.
According to The Verge, the new MacBook Air looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but the tapered design gives away the computer as a MacBook Air device. The site called the MacBook Air's Retina Display great and essentially on par with the screens on MacBook Pro models.
Image via The Verge
The Verge acknowledged that Apple's third generation keyboards are still polarizing, with super minimal key travel, but the site didn't think this is enough of a reason not to upgrade. Ultimately, The Verge enjoyed its first hands-on time with the MacBook Air and said that this is the MacBook most people should get, but wondered if the $1,199 entry price is still too high:
We’ll do a fuller price breakdown and comparison to other laptops soon, but my initial impression is that while I think this machine is worth $1,199, I still wonder if that’s too high of an entry price. But the only real way to know the answer to that question is to wait to see how it sells.
TechCrunch also pointed out that the new MacBook Air looks largely similar to the MacBook Pro, comparing the two in an image (seen below). The site said that the update to the MacBook Air was solid, and they commended Apple for keeping the MacBook Air around and not discontinuing it in favor of the low-cost MacBook.
MacBook Air on top of MacBook Pro, via TechCrunch
Touch ID is now present up top — a great addition — though Apple opted not to include the Touch Bar. That could be for any number of reasons. There’s some speculation that the company will ultimately move away from the feature, but more likely, it was simply a cost cutting measure.
All in all, a solid and long awaited update to Apple’s best loved laptop. It’s nice to see the company keeping the model around, rather than simply doing away with it in favor of the low end MacBook.
Switching over to the Mac mini, numerous sites praised the long-awaited update to Apple's miniature desktop device, which last saw a refresh in October 2014. The Space Gray Mac mini comes with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz, making it 5 times faster than the previous generation, and up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM.
SlashGear liked Apple's boosted internal specs for the Mac mini, and noted the numerous ports on the back of the device, including four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an ethernet port. The site argued that there is enough inside of the updated Mac mini to potentially convince iMac owners to switch over to a Mac mini and display setup:
Image via SlashGear
For a compact desktop, the Mac mini always punched above its weight for user upgrades. No, you can’t change the processor – in this case a choice of 4-core or 6-core Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 chips – but Apple has stuck with SO-DIMM memory. If you don’t want to pay Apple for an upgrade to up to 64 GB of RAM from the standard 8 GB, you should be able to do it yourself later on.
It’s little things like that which give the new Mac mini its charm. The $799 starting price, too, is aggressive – especially with the new MacBook Air Retina nudging up to $1,200. If you can do without Apple’s Retina display and provide your own, this first rung on the macOS ladder no longer feels like such a compromise. In fact, there’s plenty here that could sway iMac buyers back to a familiar old form-factor.
More news from Apple's New York event will be coming out as the day progresses, so be sure to keep an eye on our front page and on our Twitter feed for the latest coverage.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 12:07 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's newly announced MacBook Air with Retina display and upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors features the best battery life out of any of Apple's notebooks, MacBook Pro and MacBook included.
The new machine, which features a 50.3 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, offers up to 12 hours of battery life when web browsing, 13 hours when watching iTunes movie playback, and 30 days of standby time.
Comparatively, the MacBook Pro models offer up to 10 hours battery when browsing the web and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, while the MacBook offers 10 hours of battery when browsing the web and 12 hours of iTunes movie playback.
The MacBook Air is going to provide two extra hours of battery life for web browsing compared to other models, and an hour to three hours more when watching movies. Details on Apple's battery testing procedures are below:
Testing conducted by Apple in October 2018 using preproduction 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-based MacBook Air systems with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration.
The MacBook Air is equipped with two USB-C ports and charges over USB-C. It ships with a 30W power adapter, much like the 12-inch MacBook.
You can order the new MacBook Air today, and prices start at $1,199. The first orders will arrive next Wednesday, November 7.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 8:32 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple in New York today announced a new Retina Display-equipped MacBook Air, the first major update to the model in several years. The display is the centerpiece of the update, but it also gains a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and retains its headphone jack, mirroring other 13-inch notebooks in Apple's lineup. It's available in gold, silver, and space gray.
Pricing starts at $1,199, with preorders beginning today and first deliveries on November 7.
The new Air features 50 percent smaller bezels, allowing for a reduced footprint while retaining the same screen size. The 13.3-inch display has four times the resolution of the previous model at 2560x1600. The screen supports 48 percent more color than before, and the FaceTime HD camera remains tucked away at the top.
It has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5, with Intel UHD Graphics and 2133 MHz system memory up to 16GB (8GB standard), with faster SSDs up to 1.5TB in capacity.
There's a new Touch ID fingerprint sensor at the top right of the keyboard, alongside the physical function keys. Apple's T2 Security Chip is included, brought over from the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro — it protects Touch ID data, while also ensuring that the boot process has not been tampered with. There's an onboard SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption for the Air's flash storage. It also enables "Hey Siri" support.
It uses the same third-generation keyboard as Apple's recent MacBook Pro models, and the Force Touch trackpad is here as well. Better, louder speakers are here, with 25 percent more volume and twice the bass.
It takes up 17 percent less volume, and is ten percent thinner than before, just 0.61-inches at its thickest point (by the hinge). It weighs 2.75 pounds, a quarter pound lighter than before.
Finally, Apple made much of the environmental impact of both the MacBook Air and the new Mac Mini, with both machines made from a new, custom-designed aluminum alloy that uses 100 percent recycled aluminum. Apple says this alloy helps reduce the Air's carbon footprint by 50 percent, "making it the greenest Mac ever."
In addition to the new $1,199 MacBook Air, the old version sticks around, beginning at $999.
Friday October 26, 2018 2:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
While Apple introduced iPhones back in September, there are still a number of products that the company is planning to refresh before the end of the year, necessitating a second fall 2018 event, set to be held on Tuesday, October 30 in New York City.
Apple's October event will focus on the iPad and the Mac, and below, we've rounded up everything we expect to see along with a few other products that might possibly make an appearance at the keynote.
Apple is working on updated iPad Pro models that adopt an iPhone XS-style design with slimmer bezels and no Home button, with the iPads instead set to gain a TrueDepth camera system that will replace Touch ID with Face ID for biometric authentication purposes. The design of the iPad Pro has been confirmed by Apple in several leaked icons discovered in iOS 12.
Though the iPhone XS uses a notch for the TrueDepth camera, the upcoming iPad Pro models are expected to feature slim top, bottom, and side bezels all around the display. Apple is not planning to use an OLED display for the new iPads due to cost and production issues.
2018 iPad Pro mockup via iDropNews
Recent CAD drawings sourced from a case maker along with additional leaks have given us some insight into the dimensions of the new iPad Pro models. The smaller iPad Pro is expected to be 7 inches wide (178.52mm) and 9.7 inches tall (247.64mm), while the larger model will be 8.5 inches wide (215mm) and 11 inches tall (280.66mm).
The smaller of the two iPad Pro models may be as thin as 5.86mm, and it's not clear how thick the larger iPad Pro model will be. It could be as thin, or somewhat thicker like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Bezels for both iPad Pro models could measure in at around 6mm at the top, bottom, and sides.
Based on multiple leaks, Apple is apparently relocating the magnetic Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models from the side to the bottom near the Lightning port, which could perhaps require a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. It's not clear why Apple is making this change, and it's not known if Apple is indeed releasing a new Smart Keyboard that connects differently.
Originally, it was thought that Apple was relocating the connector because Face ID would be limited to portrait orientation since that's the way it works on the iPhone, but code in iOS 12.1 suggests that after being set up vertically, Face ID will work on the iPad in both portrait and landscape modes.
Design wise, the new iPad Pro models are said to feature a "diamond cut" at both the front and the back, which suggests the tablets could have a design similar to the iPhone SE with beveled edges. Antenna lines on the device may also be located at the top and bottom, similar to the iPhone 7, rather than in a block at the top.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
There are other major changes in store for the iPad Pro. Apple is said to be planning to eliminate the headphone jack from the iPad lineup like it did in the iPhone starting with the iPhone 7, and it's rumored to use a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port.
A USB-C port would allow for faster charging and new functionality not possible via Lightning such as the ability to drive a 4K monitor.
Inside, the new iPad Pro models are said to be equipped with an A12X Bionic processor that's even faster than the A12 chip in the new iPhone lineup.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
Alongside new iPad Pro models, Apple is said to be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil with a new design.
Little detail is known about the new Apple Pencil, but it could feature an AirPods-like pairing experience with the ability to switch the Apple Pencil between devices without the need to plug it into a Lightning port.
It will attach magnetically to the side of the new iPad Pro models, and it is said to feature a new charging method, though there are no details on what that charging method might be. It's possible the accessory will charge wirelessly when docked to the iPad Pro, with Apple eliminating the Lightning port.
Rumors have also suggested new Apple Pencil will support tap and swipe gestures, which would allow iPad Pro users to do things like change the size or color of a brush within a sketching app using the sides of the Apple Pencil.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is working on an upgraded iPad mini that features an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, which suggests it will be more affordable than the current version.
Kuo wasn't entirely sure if Apple plans to release the iPad mini at its October event or at a later date in 2018 or early 2019, but there's a possibility it will be unveiled alongside new iPad Pro models.
We don't have any other information about the new iPad mini at this point in time, but it sounds like it's not going to get the same design refinements that are coming to Apple's iPad Pro lineup.
Apple has a 13-inch MacBook Air replacement in the works, which has been the subject of rumors for more than a year now. It's still not clear whether Apple plans to label the machine as MacBook Air or a MacBook, but some concrete details about the upcoming notebook can be gleaned from everything we've heard.
Positioned as an entry-level low-cost machine in Apple's product lineup, the notebook will be 13 inches in size and it will feature a Retina display. It is said to be similar in design to the current 13-inch MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels.
It's not entirely clear how Apple will distinguish this machine from the 12-inch MacBook if it's going to be a MacBook Air with a Retina display, but if the design is similar to the current MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook will still be Apple's lightest machine, justifying its higher price tag.
Various pricing rumors have suggested that it could be available for anywhere from $799 to $1,200, but the most reliable source, Bloomberg, believes it will cost under $1,000.
Whiskey Lake chips appropriate for a MacBook Air-like machine were announced by Intel in August, and so Apple could potentially be planning to use these chips in the device.
Regardless of whether the rumored lower-cost 13-inch notebook is positioned as a MacBook Air or a MacBook, rumors suggest Apple is planning to maintain the 12-inch MacBook lineup and a MacBook refresh is said to be in the works.
Upgraded 12-inch MacBooks are likely to feature Intel's 8th-generation Amber Lake Y-series processors, announced in August. These chips bring processor and battery improvements, so new MacBooks could offer both faster performance and longer battery life.
Aside from upgraded Intel chips, there's been little information on what else Apple might add to a refreshed MacBook lineup.
Apple refreshes its iMac lineup on a regular basis, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that an updated model is in the works and set to launch at Apple's October 30th event.
We're expecting new iMacs that feature upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors, improved GPUs, and perhaps the adoption of the T2 chip that was introduced in the iMac Pro and has since been added to the MacBook Pro.
Apple is working on a refreshed version of the Mac mini that's focused on the pro user base. The upgraded device will feature new storage and processor options, and because Apple is aiming it at pro users, some models could be more expensive than previous Mac mini products.
We don't have a lot of additional information available on what to expect from the Mac mini, but one rumor suggested the higher-end model "won't be so mini anymore," hinting at one configuration with a larger size to accommodate higher-end components.
Given that the new Mac mini is going to be a pro-focused machine, it's not clear what chips it will adopt, but Intel this year has announced 8th-generation processors appropriate for both desktop and notebook machines. Past Mac mini models have used the same chips as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple may be planning to opt for more powerful chips for a pro Mac mini model.
Apple last year announced work on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Apple has said this new, redesigned Mac Pro will launch at some point in 2019, but in the past, the company has provided us with early previews and the work on the Mac Pro is no secret, so it's possible we'll get a little taste of what to expect at this fall Mac-focused event.
As should come as no surprise, Apple is working on a next-generation iMac Pro model, which Bloomberg confirmed this afternoon. There are no new chips available that would be appropriate for an upgraded iMac Pro right now, but it's possible Apple will give us some details on when we can expect a refreshed iMac Pro machine.
AirPower and AirPods
We're still waiting on the AirPower, the three-device charging mat that Apple introduced in September 2017. When it made its debut, Apple said it would launch at some point in 2018, and we've got a few months to go, so it could potentially make an appearance at the October event.
We're not counting on it though, as Apple made no mention of the AirPower at its September iPhone-focused event, where a launch would have made more sense.
The AirPower is designed to charge the Apple Watch (Series 3 and 4), glass-backed iPhones, and AirPods all at the same time, with a wireless charging case required to enable wireless charging for the AirPods.
Alongside the AirPower, Apple is supposed to be introducing a new AirPods Charging Case that adds wireless charging to the earbuds, so if we see the launch of the AirPower, AirPods are likely to launch alongside it.
In addition to wireless charging, refreshed AirPods could gain an upgraded wireless chip that supports hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality. With "Hey Siri" support, AirPod owners will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
Existing AirPods Charging Case next to redesigned AirPods Charging Case with wireless charging capabilities
No other major changes are rumored for the AirPods this year, but there have been some hints that Apple is working on a set of Apple-branded high-end over-ear headphones that could launch in late 2018 at the earliest, so we may see a mention of them. Rumors on a launch date have been mixed, though, so Apple may not be ready to debut these until 2019.
Apple's event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, three hours earlier than events are normally held. This year's event is happening earlier because it's taking place on the East Coast instead of the West Coast.
Apple is planning to live stream the product unveilings on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV.
For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, along with continuing coverage over the course of the next few weeks.
What are you most looking forward to seeing Apple introduce this year? Let us know in the comments.
Tuesday October 23, 2018 10:54 am PDT by Juli Clover
Ahead of Apple's October 30th event, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared some details about what we can expect to see Apple to unveil during the event as well as information on other products that we might see from Apple in late 2018 or early 2019.
Kuo has several interesting predictions, including an updated iPad mini and details on the launch of the AirPower.
Kuo says that we can expect to see two new iPad Pro models that are equipped with USB-C, improved displays, and an Apple Pencil with a new design. Further details were not shared on what improvements to expect with the displays or what a redesigned Apple Pencil might look like.
All of these features have been previously rumored for Apple's upcoming iPad Pro models, which are also expected to feature Face ID, edge to edge screens, and no Home button.
Kuo says that Apple will launch a new version of the iPad mini, which has not seen an update in several years. Kuo says the device will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel.
Kuo does not know, however, if Apple will announce it during the media event or launch it sometime later in the year/early next year, but if an updated model is in the works, it makes sense for it to launch alongside the iPad Pro.
At Apple's event, we can expect to see several Mac updates with upgraded processors and other internal improvements. Kuo says we can count on a new low-cost notebook and updates to the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.
AirPower and AirPods
According to Kuo, Apple could launch new AirPods and the AirPower either late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019, but he doesn't yet know the company's specific plans.
It's possible that if Apple is planning on debuting the AirPower before the end of 2018 as promised, it could be mentioned at the October event, but Kuo doesn't say either way. The AirPower, first unveiled in September 2017, is meant to charge three devices at once, including an iPhone, the AirPods, and the Apple Watch, but it's been delayed for several months now.
As for the AirPods, we can expect to see an upgraded wireless charging case that will work with the AirPower along with a new wireless chip that enables "Hey Siri" functionality.
Apple's October event is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This year's event is being held earlier in the day than normal because it is being hosted in New York City instead of Cupertino.
Apple will provide a live stream of the event on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV, but for those who can't watch, MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
While the iPad Pro is expected to continue to use an LCD rather than OLED due to the high price of OLED displays, rumors suggest it could adopt a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port and that the headphone jack could potentially be eliminated.
2018 iPad Pro mockup by Álvaro Pabesio
Along with new iPad Pro models, we're also expecting refreshes to the MacBook line. Refreshed 12-inch MacBooks are said to be in the works, and based on rumors, Apple has developed a low-cost notebook with a Retina display that could be positioned as an updated MacBook Air.
The Mac mini, which has not been updated for more than 1,400 days, is expected to be refreshed for the first time since 2014. We don't know a lot about what to expect for the Mac mini update, but upgraded internals and faster processors are a sure thing.
It's possible that at this iPad and Mac-focused event, we'll also hear more about the modular Mac Pro that Apple is working on for a 2019 debut.
Apple's 2018 keynote event will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Apple typically streams the event live on its website and on Apple TV, but for those who are unable to watch, MacRumors will be providing full event coverage both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Wednesday August 29, 2018 7:01 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple will add 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models released in Mid 2012 to its vintage and obsolete products list on August 31, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source.
Normally, this would mean the 2012 MacBook Air is no longer eligible for hardware service, except where required by law. However, Apple has decided to include the notebook in its recently launched pilot program that allows for repairs to continue into the vintage period, subject to parts availability.
Apple says 2012 MacBook Air models will remain eligible for service at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers worldwide through August 31, 2020, a full two years after the notebook is classified as vintage. Mail-in service will also be an option in the United States and Japan through that date.
Apple launched this pilot program in February, starting with 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models released in Mid 2011, but only in the United States and Turkey, so this marks the first time the initiative has expanded worldwide.
The coverage period for the Mid 2011 iMac models was initially set to expire August 31, 2018, but Apple has extended it to January 1, 2019, according to internal documents. However, unlike the 2012 MacBook Air, service for the Mid 2011 iMac remains available in the United States and Turkey only.
Apple's pilot program chart reproduced by MacRumors
If parts are unavailable for a specific repair for these vintage Macs, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to decline service. This is also a pilot program to begin with, so it is subject to change or end at any time.
Apple products become vintage five years after they are last manufactured, at which point they typically become ineligible for hardware service. 2012 MacBook Air models were last sold in June 2013, slightly over five years ago, but they'll now receive an impressive eight years of repair support.
The exact reason for the pilot program is unclear, beyond Apple apparently having a surplus of repair parts for these specific MacBook Air and iMac models. Any extension of hardware service eligibility is certainly a bonus for customers.
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