Apple unveils new MacBooks, AirPods

Apple says the MacBook Pro range will be powered by its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Apple says the MacBook Pro range will be powered by its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Apple has launched two new MacBook Pro models powered by new in-house Apple Silicon chips as well as a new generation of its AirPods wireless earbuds and a $A5.99-per-month music subscription service.

The new MacBook Pro laptops with 14-inch and 16-inch displays are powered by the new chips.

The models eliminated the "Touch Bar" that Apple's fans had groused about and restored several connectors - including the company's "MagSafe" power connector - that had disappeared in recent years, angering some of the company's users.

Apple said the 14-inch model and the 16-inch model will start shipping next week.

Apple's two new high-powered chips are called the M1 Pro and the M1 Max.

The chips are meant to have better performance than the company's previous M1 chips but do so while using less power than rival chips from firms like Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Johny Srouji, Apple's chip chief, said the M1 Max chip uses up to 100 watts less power than other high-end laptop chips, which translates to better battery life.

"It's the most powerful chip we've ever built," Srouji said of the M1 Max.

Before Monday, Apple's most powerful laptops relied on chips from Intel.

The company has already placed a first-generation in-house-designed M1 chip into some MacBooks as well as its Mac Mini and iMac desktop machines.

Meanwhile, Apple's new AirPods are sweat- and water-resistant for use with workouts and will have some sound features previously found in the higher-end AirPods Pro, Apple said during the launch event.

Apple said the new AirPods will cost $A279 and start shipping next week.

Add-on devices like AirPods tend to be large sellers during holiday shopping seasons and have become one of Apple's fastest-growing categories, with its home and accessories segment growing 25 per cent to $US30.6 billion ($A41.2 billion) in Apple's fiscal 2020.

Australian Associated Press