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Apple unveils new M1 chip for Mac computers

Yahoo Finance's Myles Udland, Julie Hyman, Brian Sozzi, and Dan Howley recap Apple's M1 chip event.

Video Transcript

- Apple came out with their one more thing final event of the year 2020. Yahoo Fiance's Dan Howley joins us now to tell us all about the latest MacBooks. And really, Howley, what has been the year of the Mac for Apple and a shift I don't think the company probably foresaw when we began the year, but I know the changes that the company announced yesterday are something that you see as a significant turning point here, a significant event for the business going forward.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. This is really a major deal. You know, we talk about how 2020 you're supposed to see this iPhone sales supercycle because of the 5G iPhone, the iPhone 12. There's four iPhone 12's, so obviously that could help drive sales more. But the most dramatic product that they've announced is clearly this new piece of silicon. It's called the M1 chip. It's a system on a chip. And basically, all that means is the central processing, the CPU, or processor that everyone normally talks about and the graphics processing unit, which is basically a graphics chip, are on one piece of silicon.

And they have their neural engine in there for a machine learning. This is the same thing that they've been doing in the iPhone and the iPad for years now. But what's big here is Apple is making a huge, hugely massive bet that they can turn those chips in a similar style to power the devices that require heavy duty processing. We're talking about the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini. Those are the devices that are getting this M1 chip.

And why that matters is because they're ditching Intel entirely by 2022. And we've seen other companies try to work with ARM based processors to power laptops. And yes, they've gotten great battery life. And Apple's already touting that, saying you can get as much as 18 hours, or 20 hours out of the Air and the Pro. But what they haven't been able to do with these other manufacturers, HP, Microsoft, is make those ARM based processors powerful enough to take advantage of what high end users may need.

And when we look at something like their MacBook Pro, a lot of people use them for things like video editing or heavy graphics applications. That's not something we've traditionally seen with these ARM based processors. So Apple is really taking a big bet here. They say that these chips blow out current Intel chips by a country mile. We're talking about things like CPU performance, GQ performance, the aforementioned battery. Your MacBook Air won't have a fan in it now, so you won't hear that annoying wheezing whenever you're trying to watch Netflix for five hours while running one tab in Chrome, because Chrome is terrible like that.

But the big to do here is that Apple is making a huge, huge, huge bet on these chips. And I think if it pays off, obviously they eliminate that payment they have to make to the likes of Intel, $2.9 billion in 2019. But it also allows them to further customize Mac OS throughout the line just because they're going to have the hardware and software. And then, oh yeah, that also means that all the apps from iOS and iPad OS can translate directly to Mac OS. And that would mean millions upon millions of apps entering into that ecosystem and giving people an even greater reason to buy these devices. So I think the M1 is just a massive, massive opportunity for them, but also a huge, huge risk.

- All right, Dan Howley, one word answer. Buyer's guide question here, holiday shopping, is this MacBook worth getting?

DAN HOWLEY: I would say probably. Yeah.