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Monday, December 5, 2022

Updated MacBook laptops and AirPods are among the new products introduced by Apple

Apple on Monday revealed new MacBook laptops powered by Apple-designed CPUs, as well as an upgraded edition of its famous AirPods, at an hour-long virtual event on its website.

Apple launched a new line of laptops last year that included CPUs that were designed and manufactured by Apple with the help of a manufacturing partner, ending the company’s dependence on the chip manufacturer Intel. During that time, the firm claimed that the new processor, known as the M1, would make Apple products quicker and more energy efficient.

The new processors, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max, are used to power a new MacBook Pro, which is available in two sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch, with prices beginning at $2,000 and $2,500, respectively. According to the firm, the updated laptops will have quicker processing speeds, sharper graphics, greater audio quality, and a better camera, among other features.

Some of the modifications that Apple has made to its laptops over the years have been pulled back as a result of customer demand, including the removal of the controversial Touch Bar, a touch screen strip above the keyboard, and the addition of connectors for an HDMI connection and an SD memory card.

A third version of AirPods with improved audio quality and longer battery life were also launched, with a price tag of $179 — a $20 increase over the previous generation of the device — and a new Apple Music membership for $9.99 per month.

Apple computers were instrumental in making the firm a household name, but the Mac range — which consists of high-end machines that usually cost upwards of $900 — has always been a minor player in the PC industry. According to IDC, Apple computers accounted for 7.4 percent of the worldwide PC market in the third quarter of this year, considerably behind Lenovo, HP, and Dell, which accounted for more than 60 percent of total sales in the same period.

Since their introduction in 2016, Apple’s AirPods have been enormously popular. The wireless earbuds are the best-selling item among “hearables,” which are wireless earphones with sensors that communicate with smartphones. According to a study by Counterpoint Research, Apple’s AirPods have captured 57 percent of the market for high-end hearables this year, significantly outpacing Samsung, which had just 17 percent.

Apple’s announcement on Monday comes a little more than a month after the company introduced a new range of iPhones — the iPhone 13 series — as well as an updated Apple Watch and a refreshed iPad.

Outside of hardware releases, the business has been subjected to an increasing amount of turbulence in recent months, including increased demands for government control. Apple recently filed an appeal in its case against Epic Games, which accused the company of engaging in monopolistic conduct. In addition, the company dismissed a leader of the #AppleToo campaign, a group of employee activists, only a few days before the ruling.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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