Undeterred by mounting international supply chain issues, Apple is trudging ahead with its second hardware event of the fall. Called “Unleashed,” it's set for tomorrow, and like all of its events over the past year and a half, it's virtual.
The company has been trotting out its usual cycle of updated iMacs, iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, and fresh software. This is likely its last product event of the year. The swooshy “hyperdrive engaged” starfield visuals of the event announcement might make it seem like Apple is teasing some new screensavers, but the big news here is bound to revolve around MacBooks.
What Time Is the Apple Event?
What to Expect
Looking at the rumor mill, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the event. (Barring Apple’s penchant for tacking on “one more thing.”) Mark Gurman, Bloomberg’s resident Apple seer, predicts some sweeping changes for the MacBook Pro. Apple could reveal two versions: a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook, each running on Apple’s proprietary chip, which will likely see an upgrade as well. The company hasn't refreshed its 16-inch MacBook Pro since 2019.
These new MacBooks could signal a big shift away from an era of Apple design that favored slim, nigh-unrepairable form over function. Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer, left the company in June 2019 to start his own design firm. Since then, the company has been slowly easing back from some of its more controversial design decisions, such as the truly terrible butterfly keyboards. The new MacBooks are expected to continue that trend toward usability, with MagSafe chargers, an HDMI connection, multiple USB ports, and—we can only hope—an SD card slot. The Touch Bar is even rumored to disappear.
There’s also talk of a new Mac Mini, which would also feature the boosted processor and an abundance of ports. As for the software running on these machines, it’s likely Apple will announce the release date of the final, public version of MacOS Monterey, the latest iteration of its desktop operating system that debuted in June.
Finally, rumors about new AirPods have been swirling all year. If Apple decides to update its standard line, the AirPods 3 could feature removable ear tips and cut back on that long stem that sticks out past your ears. It's not a given, but if we're going to see any update to Apple's buds this year, it'll probably be at this event.
At any rate, be sure to check back here at WIRED right after the event, where we’ll have a complete roundup with all the juicy details about everything Apple announced.