Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook signed an agreement worth $275 billion with Chinese officials (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
The MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will integrate Apple's new M1 chip which delivers improved battery life and allows the computers to run apps designed for mobile devices
Apple on Tuesday introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other computers with the first microprocessor designed in-house which can allow the machines to operate more like its popular iPhones.
The new chip, called the M1, marks a shift away from Intel Corp technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years.
The MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will integrate Apple's new M1 chip which delivers improved battery life and allows the computers to run apps designed for mobile devices.
The M1 replaces Intel chips used on earlier versions of the Apple computers.
It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company's iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Apple hopes developers now will create families of apps that work on both computers and phones.
The MacBook Air will start at $999, the same as its predecessor, and have up to twice the battery life, Apple said. The M1 will also power the MacBook Pro notebook, which starts at $1299, and its $699 Mac Mini computer, which comes without a monitor. They will be available from next week, executives said.
The Mini is targeted at engineers and scientists because of the artificial intelligence capabilities of the new chip that usually requires a graphics chip from Nvidia Corp or AMD.
Apple said in its release that "iPhone and iPad apps can now run directly on the Mac", although software developers will need to create compatible versions for the computers.
In June, Apple said it would begin outfitting Macs with its own chips, building on its decades-long history of designing processors for its iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
Apple executives made numerous performance claims against Windows-based laptops and prior generations of Macs, virtually all of which are based on Intel chips, though Apple did not directly name Intel.
The Cupertino-based company ended its presentation with a cameo by its "PC guy," a nerdy, suit-wearing man who portrays a bumbling PC struggling to keep up with Apple's more hip Mac advances.