Apple Execs Talk M1 Chip, Touchscreen Macs and More in New Interview

Apple's first Macs with M1 Apple Silicon chips were introduced earlier this week and will be in the hands of customers by next Tuesday. Amid the release, Apple engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware engineering VP John Ternus, and marketing chief Greg Joswiak spoke with The Independent to discuss the new Macs.

new m1 chip
When announcing the new ‌M1‌ MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and MacBook mini, Apple had bold claims about their speed relative to both older Macs and PCs, and benchmarks last night proved that those claims are true. The new Mac models are faster than any other Mac in single-core performance and beat out many high-end machines, including the 16-inch Retina MacBook Pro, in multi-core performance.

On performance, Federighi says that Apple "overshot" and the ‌M1‌ chip turned out to be better than Apple thought it would be. Apple execs were shocked at the battery life numbers.

"We overshot," says Federighi. "You have these projects where, sometimes you have a goal and you're like, 'well, we got close, that was fine'. [...]

"We started getting back our battery life numbers, and we're like, 'You're kidding. I thought we had people that knew how to estimate these things'."

According to Ternus, during the development process, it became clear that the chip was doing more than had been expected. Apple's teams were "so passionate and excited" about the chip that they just kept pushing and optimizing.

On the name, Joswiak said that "‌M1‌ makes a lot of sense for a Mac chip," because Apple aims to use letters that make sense. A in the A-series chips used in iOS devices stands for "Apple," and the chips for headphones use H. "We're brilliant marketers that way," said Joswiak.

With the MacBook Pro, ‌MacBook Air‌, and Mac mini all using the same chip at variable price points, Federighi says that the main differentiating factor is thermal capacity. The ‌MacBook Air‌ has no fan and uses passive cooling, while the MacBook Pro has an active cooling system for faster performance.

Apple's entire Mac lineup is going to transition to ‌Apple Silicon‌ chips over the course of the next two years, and when it comes to Intel Macs, Apple execs said that they trust the machines to do the jobs they are for. Federighi said that the Intel Macs run Big Sur and will be a "big part" of Apple's focus for "many years." Apple expects the transition to be "seamless" because Apple has experience after transitioning from PowerPC to Intel in 2006.

Even though there are no design changes, Ternus said that the new Macs "make a statement" with their performance and that they're a "tremendous foundation" for the transition to kick off with.

"And, you know, we don't usually want to just go and change the design just for the sake of changing a design - we have a great platform here, we have a great new [processor], we can marry them into something really spectacular. And that was that was the thinking behind it."

With macOS Big Sur, Apple is somewhat merging iOS and macOS and allowing iPhone and iPad apps to run on the Mac, which lets developers create a single app for all platforms. Apple execs have continually said that they have no plans to merge the ‌iPad‌ and the Mac, and that continues to be the case despite the launch of universal apps. Federighi said there's no secret plan to change the way the Mac works and Apple isn't aiming for a touchscreen Mac.

"We're living with iPads, we're living with phones, our own sense of the aesthetic - the sort of openness and airiness of the interface - the fact that these devices have large retina displays now. All of these things led us to the design for the Mac, that felt to us most comfortable, actually in no way related to touch.

Federighi said that Apple designed and evolved the look of macOS in a way that felt comfortable and natural across a family of devices, and something like touch was not even remotely considered. "It's just they all feel like the natural instantiation of the experience for that device," said Federighi. "And that's what you're seeing not some signaling of a future change in input methods."

The full interview with Federighi, Joswiak, and Ternus is worth checking out and it can be found on The Independent's website.

Top Rated Comments

boss.king Avatar
12 months ago

Glad they’re not doing touchscreen macs, I hate those hybrid devices
I know, right. Imagine if they had made some sort of disgusting keyboard and trackpad case that essentially turned their tablet into a touchscreen laptop. There's nothing worse than versatility and options when it comes to computing if you ask me, each device should stick to doing one thing and we should all have to buy a bunch of devices and piece them together to get the functionality we want.

:rolleyes:
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dugbug Avatar
12 months ago

I seriously hope he’s being sarcastic here. Like, he’d better be joking. There’s nothing brilliant about putting a letter in a processor name.
IT WAS A JOKE. Jaswiak and Craig goof around a lot
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
12 months ago
Glad they’re not doing touchscreen macs, I hate those hybrid devices
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
12 months ago
don’t know how many times Apple needs to say it. you don’t need a touchscreen Mac. i agree.

it. just. doesn’t. make. sense.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikethebigo Avatar
12 months ago
Looks like they were so busy congratulating themselves over the M1 they forgot to pay their CDN bills.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
12 months ago
Ah, nice to have yet another confirmation that Apple isn’t planning on touchscreen Macs, as some people keep forgetting how firm Apple is on this.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

why mac website

Apple Explains Why You Should Buy a Mac

Friday May 21, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Apple today added a new "Why Mac" explainer page to its main Apple.com website, which, as the name suggests, pitches reasons why customers should choose to buy a Mac. The Mac is "easy to learn," powerful, and equipped with tons of apps and free software updates.Easy to learn. Astoundingly powerful. And designed to let you work, play, and create in ways you never imagined. It's the computer...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
m1 mac mini screen

Apple Working on High-End Mac Mini With Additional Ports and More Powerful Chip From Next-Gen MacBook Pro

Tuesday May 18, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
Apple is working on a high-end version of the Mac mini, featuring a more powerful Apple silicon chip and extra ports, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In a wide-reaching report, Gurman explained that Apple is developing a more powerful version of the Mac mini, positioned as a high-end version of the current M1 model. The new Mac mini is expected to use the same chip as the...
m1 v intel thumb

Apple Surprisingly Sticking With Intel Chips for One Last Mac

Thursday February 11, 2021 10:52 am PST by
Despite having begun the transition towards using its own custom silicon across the Mac product lineup, somewhat surprising recent rumors have suggested that Apple may continue to use Intel chips for one Mac model. Last year at WWDC, Apple announced plans to transition away from Intel chips to Macs built with its own Apple Silicon, such as the M1 chip, starting in late 2020. It set out its ...
m1 v intel thumb

PCs Offer 'Better Gaming Experience Than 100% of Mac Laptops,' Intel Claims in Ongoing Anti-Apple Campaign

Monday May 31, 2021 4:13 am PDT by
While announcing its latest chips yesterday, Intel launched another aggressive public attack on Mac devices, focusing on the experience of gaming (via PC Gamer). Intel yesterday announced two new 11th Generation H-series laptop processors, featuring clock speeds up to 5GHz, Intel Wi-Fi 6/6E, and 1080p gameplay on popular titles, in high-volume, thin designs. Following the announcement, the...
Apple new macbookpro wallpaper screen 11102020

Apple Isn't Done With the 13-Inch MacBook Pro Yet

Saturday June 5, 2021 1:21 am PDT by
Despite expectations that Apple was looking to focus on redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, it now seems that Apple still has plans for the smaller, entry-level MacBook Pro. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro was last updated in November last year with the M1 chip. This model is the entry-level MacBook Pro in the lineup, with the more expensive Intel models, last updated in ...
Flat MacBook Air Feature 1

Next MacBook Air Will Feature Faster Apple Silicon Chip With Up to 10 Graphics Cores

Tuesday May 18, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
Apple is working on a high-end version of the MacBook Air that will feature an improved iteration of the current M1 Apple silicon chip, featuring improved graphics, but the same number of high efficiency, and high performance cores, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple updated its 13-inch MacBook Air alongside the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini with the M1 Apple silicon chip in...
maxresdefault

Intel Dunks on Apple's Dongles in Continued Anti-M1 Mac Campaign

Thursday March 18, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Intel is continuing its anti-Apple ad campaign, today sharing a tweet that calls out the lack of ports on M1 Macs. In a photo, actor Justin Long sits on a couch with a Windows PC and holds up a handful of Apple dongles. Anyone know who these belong to? #GoPC pic.twitter.com/W6wCfMSEb8— Intel (@intel) March 18, 2021 Apple's Macs have long been derided for their lack of ports and the need to...
13 inch macbook pro m1

Apple to Announce Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro at WWDC, Says Wedbush Analyst

Wednesday June 2, 2021 10:44 pm PDT by
Apple plans to announce its long-rumored 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon at WWDC, taking place in less than five days, according to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, Ives says alongside the normally expected announcement of new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, Apple is planning a "few surprises," including the...