Here’s a fascinating little mystery.
Going into WWDC 2021, it seemed quite likely Apple would announce the rumored redesigned MacBook Pro, along with a more powerful update to the M1 processor, perhaps called the M2. That didn’t happen, so many concluded the leakers just got it wrong this time.
But then @maxbalzer_ on Twitter noticed something interesting about the WWDC live stream on YouTube: Apple tagged it with the keywords ‘M1X’ and ‘M1X MacBook Pro.’
OK OK OK
Everyone stay calm… but I just spotted these tags on Apple's YouTube livestream of the June 7 keynote!!!
APPLE CONFIRMED THE M1X!!!@jon_prosser you were right after all!!!
— Max Balzer (@maxbalzer_) June 9, 2021
We have confirmed this ourselves (shoutout to the TubeBuddy extension which shows the tags). As of the publication of this article, the tags are still up.
Now, there are a few seemingly simple explanations. Perhaps whoever set up the livestream was simply looking to maximize the stream’s views, and leveraging the leaks seems like an easy way to do that.
But that’s… kind of weird. This is Apple we’re talking about — they pretty much never acknowledge leaks, and they don’t need to fish for views.
Perhaps more importantly, at least as many people had been referring to the M1’s successor as the ‘M2‘ chip, because numbers. A few publications did refer to an M1X chip for the updated 15-inch MacBook Pro, but according to Google Trends, it was the less common of the two terms.
Upon reflection, M1X makes total sense if Apple is going to be consistent with how it named its mobile processors. The ‘X’ version is the more powerful variant, and Apple probably isn’t ready for an altogether new generation.
So this is complete conjecture, but it seems to me that it’s quite possible that at some point, Apple planned on introducing the M1X MacBook Pro at WWDC, but then decided against it. The event was already quite long after all, and considering Apple isn’t doing physical events at the moment, it can probably re-arrange its announcement plans with more flexibility.
Again, it’s all speculation, but considering the M1’s successor was slated to make an appearance in early summer — as reported by Bloomberg and Nikkei — I expect we’ll be hearing about these new MacBooks sooner rather than later.
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