Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Opinion: It won’t matter what Apple calls the rumored ‘M1X’ chip in the new MacBook Pros

With the upcoming Apple event approaching quickly, speculation is getting out of hand in regards to the chip Apple plans to put in the next-generation MacBook Pro. The most likely name is “M1X,” and others believe the chip will be called “M2.” Some folks have tossed around other names as well with different modifiers. Guess what? It doesn’t matter what it’s called. What matters is that it’s faster than last year’s chip, but not so much faster that it steps on the M1’s parade.

Apple Silicon still feels new in Macs, but remember that Apple has been shipping their own silicon in iOS devices for more than a decade. They’ve sold multiple generations of chips side by side on Apple store shelves every single year since 2011.

Just look at the current catalog of Apple products. Apple currently sells iPads with four different chips. Today you can buy an iPad with any of the following chips: A13, A14, A15, and M1. Apple offers iPhones with A13, A14, and A15. Apple Watches come with either S3, S5, or S7 chips. Even the Apple TV line is staggered. The base Apple TV comes with an A8 chip that was introduced seven years ago. Even the newest Apple TV only uses the A12 chip. Apple has even released iPads with A12Z chips after releasing devices with A13. The number doesn’t really matter.

The three latest iPads all use different generations of Apple silicon

Apple has never had a problem selling older chips alongside new ones. In fact, these days chip upgrades year-over-year are often marginal. You can still comfortably use an iPhone or iPad with an A12 chip and not feel any sort of lag. M1 Macs aren’t going to feel slow anytime soon. And your average consumer isn’t going to choose a MacBook Pro just because it has an M1X chip instead of an M1 chip. They’re going to choose it because it either has a new design or other new features that aren’t related to Apple Silicon.

The three latest generations of iPhones use different chips and continue to be sold by Apple

Whatever Apple calls the next chip that powers a Mac is irrelevant. Apple will continue to sell M1 Macs alongside whatever they introduce on Monday. It’s how they have always operated. Even with Intel chips across the board, different product lines used different generations of processors. Some of you may say, Is it relevant because Apple can use it as a marketing tool? Guess what? The marketing tool isn’t the chip itself. It’s Apple Silicon. Apple wants the world to know it’s the best chip maker in the world. Everyone will ultimately forget the names of these chips because they’ll get replaced every single year. What people will remember is that the new MacBook Pros with Apple Silicon are the best machines you can buy.

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