The delay of the new high-end Mac Pro with Apple silicon can be attributed to changes in the company’s chip and manufacturing plans. Also, Apple prepares to permit third-party app stores and sideloading; iOS 16.2 is launched; and Apple Music is added to Tesla vehicles.
Apple’s automobile and mixed-reality headset aspirations represent a more realistic era, as reported in Power On last week.
When Apple Inc. revealed intentions in June 2020 to switch from Intel Corp. processors to in-house-designed Mac chips, the company estimated that the transition would take around two years.
Now at the end of 2022, it is evident that Apple missed its self-imposed timetable for completing the transition. In addition to not producing a Mac Pro using Apple silicon, the business continues to sell only the Intel-based high-end desktop Mac mini.
Apple has said little about its future Mac desktops or the reasons for the delay, but the company continues to test a brand-new Mac Pro and an M2 Pro-based Mac mini to replace the current Intel-based variants.
Apple had hoped to release the new Mac Pro by now, but the high-end computer has been delayed due to multiple revisions to its features, a major alteration in the company’s plans for high-end processors, and a possible transfer of its manufacture.
Apple initially intended to construct a replacement for the Intel Mac Pro using a processor based on the original M1 chip. The strategy planned for two primary configurations: one chip with the power of two M1 Max processors — the most powerful chip in the MacBook Pro — and another chip with the power of four M1 Max components combined.
The twin M1 Max chip ultimately debuted in the Mac Studio as the M1 Ultra, and Apple decided to delay the M2 version of the Mac Pro. The business subsequently intended for the Mac Pro to be available in two configurations: an M2 Ultra version and a double-M2 Ultra configuration that I’ve called “M2 Extreme.”
With up to 24 CPU cores, 76 graphics cores, and the capacity to support at least 192 gigabytes of memory, the M2 Ultra processor is set to have impressive characteristics for professional users.
A M2 Extreme chip would have increased the number of cores to 48 CPU and 152 graphics. The bad news is that the corporation has likely abandoned this setup, which may disappoint Apple’s most demanding customers, including photographers, editors, and programmers who value such computing capability.
The choice was made due to the complexity and expense of constructing a processor composed of four M2 Max chips fused together. It will also allow Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. conserve chip-manufacturing resources for machines with a larger output volume.
Additionally, there are worries regarding the amount that buyers are willing to spend. Using the most advanced M1 Ultra chip increases the price of the Mac Studio to $5,000, which is only $1,000 less than the current Mac Pro. This item is $3,000 more expensive than the M1 Max Mac Studio.
Based on Apple’s current pricing structure, an M2 Extreme version of the Mac Pro would likely cost at least $10,000 — without any additional upgrades — making it an incredibly niche product that would likely not be worth the development costs, engineering resources, and production capacity it would require.
Instead, it is anticipated that the Mac Pro will utilise a new-generation M2 Ultra chip (rather than the M1 Ultra) and will retain one of its defining characteristics: the capacity to easily accommodate more memory, storage, and other components.
The aforementioned Mac mini update will be available in standard M2 and M2 Pro configurations, while new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max configurations will arrive early next year. Additionally, the corporation continues to pursue a high-end iMac Pro with Apple silicon, but this machine has experienced similar internal delays as the Mac Pro.
Apple is also developing a number of new external monitors, including an update to the Pro Display XDR, which debuted in 2019 alongside the Intel Mac Pro. As the Mac Pro is further advanced in development than the monitor, it is feasible that the company’s next high-end display will ship after the Mac Pro.
These new monitors, similar to the Studio Display introduced alongside the Mac Studio, will use Apple silicon. This reduces the screens’ need on the attached computer’s resources.
Apple is also anticipated to significantly alter the Mac Pro’s manufacturing process.
At least for U.S. clients, the current version is manufactured at a Flex Ltd. plant in Austin, Texas. However, this is merely the ultimate stage. Apple manufactures the components, including the primary internal components, power supply, and body, in China, and then assembles them in Texas.
In 2019, when facing political pressure from the Trump administration, the firm took the choice to conduct the assembly in Texas. Apple had planned to manufacture the Intel Mac Pro in China, but as a gesture of goodwill transferred the final assembly to the United States.
At the time, Donald Trump threatened Apple with substantial tariffs on Chinese-made items. This might have increased costs and hampered the manufacturing of essential devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. To avoid this, turning the low-volume Mac Pro into a PR exercise was a minor price to pay.
Now that Trump is no longer in power, the corporation can relocate Mac Pro production to its comfort zone – Asia — and escape the misconception that the Mac Pro is truly “Made in America.”
However, the relocation to Asia will involve a big twist. In contrast to most iPhone models and other items, the next high-end Mac is anticipated to be manufactured in Vietnam. This country currently manufactures AirPods and may soon produce laptops and Apple Watches as well.
Even if the business loses some “made in the USA” boasting rights, Apple’s dependence on China would be further reduced.
Apple prepares a revamp of the App Store in anticipation of European Union regulations. Apple intends to open the iPhone and iPad to other app stores and sideloading in an effort to comply with EU regulations that go into force in early 2024. This implies that iPhone and iPad users in Europe will be allowed to install third-party software from rival app stores, the Internet, and other sources for the first time.
Apple is also planning to increase developer access to camera operations, the near-field communications chip, and the Find My Location features. In addition, the business will no longer require third-party web browsers to use Safari’s WebKit engine. All of this is in response to Europe’s groundbreaking Digital Markets Act, which attempts to level the playing field between platform owners and third-party developers.
Apple has spent years pushing against sideloading; hence, this is a significant about-face. It asserted that circumventing the App Store in this manner would pose privacy and security risks. Apple’s App Store revenue, which is comprised of commissions ranging from 15% to 30% on apps, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, would also suffer.
However, making the necessary adjustments may be a minimal sacrifice in the long term. Repeated violations of the Digital Markets Act may cost Apple up to 20 percent of its yearly global revenue in penalties. According to its sales in fiscal year 2022, this amount is approximately $80 billion.
iCloud now supports end-to-end encryption with the release of new software updates. A week after announcing end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, Apple has now made the corresponding software available for all of its devices. You must update all of your Apple products, including Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and HomePods, in order to enable the new iCloud function known as Advanced Data Protection. The iOS 16.2 version now includes the ability to disable widgets and other lock screen information on the iPhone 14 Pro in always-on mode.
Tesla has finally added support for Apple Music. I wrote more than a year ago that Tesla Inc. and Apple goods should be a natural fit. Teslas, after all, feature iPad-like touchscreens in the centre of the dashboard and smartphone controls. However, the vehicles are not particularly integrated with iPhones.
That is finally beginning to change. Apple Music is now accessible in the latest software update for Tesla vehicles.
Scan a QR code from your mobile device and sign in with your Apple ID to complete the setup procedure. In order to stream from Wi-Fi, you must subscribe to Tesla’s premium connectivity option for $10 per month. This is in addition to Apple Music’s price.
It’s just a coincidence, but it’s interesting that the integration was in the works for at least a year and launched just weeks after Apple’s Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk met to clear the air. Now, before anyone asks whether Teslas will also receive CarPlay, I doubt it will ever occur.