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.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple Watch Series 9

2024 Apple Watch Lineup: Key Changes We're Expecting

Tuesday July 16, 2024 7:59 am PDT by
Apple is seemingly planning a rework of the Apple Watch lineup for 2024, according to a range of reports from over the past year. Here's everything we know so far. Apple is expected to continue to offer three different Apple Watch models in five casing sizes, but the various display sizes will allegedly grow by up to 12% and the casings will get taller. Based on all of the latest rumors,...
iPhone 16 Pro Left Side Feature

iPhone 16 Pro Again Rumored to Come in New 'Rose' Color

Tuesday July 16, 2024 3:53 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in a new "Rose" color, claims a rumor out of China, corroborating previous claims. Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks, said on Tuesday that the new color code for the iPhone 16 Pro models is simply "Rose," not the previous "Rose Gold" color that Apple first offered ...
New MacBook Pros Launching Tomorrow With These 4 New Features 2

M5 MacBook Models to Use New Compact Camera Module in 2025

Wednesday July 17, 2024 2:58 am PDT by
Apple in 2025 will take on a new compact camera module (CCM) supplier for future MacBook models powered by its next-generation M5 chip, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Writing in his latest investor note on unny-opticals-2025-business-momentum-to-benefit-509819818c2a">Medium, Kuo said Apple will turn to Sunny Optical for the CCM in its M5 MacBooks. The Chinese optical lens company...
tinypod apple watch

TinyPod Turns Your Apple Watch Into an iPod

Wednesday July 17, 2024 3:18 pm PDT by
If you have an old Apple Watch and you're not sure what to do with it, a new product called TinyPod might be the answer. Priced at $79, the TinyPod is a silicone case with a built-in scroll wheel that houses the Apple Watch chassis. When an Apple Watch is placed inside the TinyPod, the click wheel on the case is able to be used to scroll through the Apple Watch interface. The feature works...
macbook pro january

Best Buy's Black Friday in July Sale Takes Up to $700 Off M3 MacBook Pro for Members

Monday July 15, 2024 11:05 am PDT by
Best Buy's "Black Friday in July" sale is in full swing today, and in addition to a few iPad Air discounts we shared earlier, there are also some steep markdowns on the M3 MacBook Pro. You will need a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership in order to get some of these deals. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...

Top Rated Comments

boss.king Avatar
48 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
48 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
48 months ago
Glad they’re not doing touchscreen macs, I hate those hybrid devices
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
48 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
48 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
48 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)