Apple generates a lot of news, and it can be hard to keep up. If your mind was on other things this week, our Saturday-morning roundup of Apple-related headlines will bring you up to date.

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The MacBook Pro, Unleashed

We warned ahead of time that Apple's Unleashed event on Monday might turn out to be disappointing - and it must be said that the breadth of new Mac releases was surprisingly small, with the MacBook Pro updated but the Mac mini, iMac and MacBook Air all left unrefreshed.

That new MacBook Pro, though: what a barnstormer that was. Most onlookers were blown away by its power - those new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have everyone's attention - but the audience was considerably more divided on the subject of its screen notch. (Quite spontaneously, two members of Macworld's international team wrote articles respectively angrily attacking and passionately defending the MacBook Pro's notch - and the Twitter responses to each were astonishingly intense.)

Above all, the consensus was that the new MacBook Pro corrected a lot of accumulated wrongs from the past five years, from MagSafe to the Touch Bar. Indeed, in our Different Think column this week, Samuel Nyberg called the new device "an apology to Apple's long-suffering Pro users". If you'd like to receive that apology, here's where to buy the new MacBook Pro.

Apple Unleashed artwork

But before we even got to the new laptops, Apple set pulses racing with the announcement of new AirPods. It's not that they break a great deal of new ground in terms of specs and features (they remain below the AirPods Pro from 2019 in Apple's roster, albeit with better battery life), but the simple fact of new AirPods itself feels like a miracle. If you exclude the AirPods Max, which are a different beast entirely, Apple hadn't updated its AirPods line in two years. Here's where to order yours.

Perhaps it would be fair to say that with those two huge announcements at the heart of the event, anything else would inevitably be sidelined, turned into an "also announced" - much as the extremely worthy iPad mini 6 was pushed out of the limelight by the iPhone 13 last month. And so Apple decided to make sure that the other announcements really were sideshows to the main event: namely, the HomePod mini getting three new colours (which are really nice, by the way); Apple Music coming in a new, cheaper, voice-only subscription; and a hilariously overpriced polishing cloth.

An enjoyable but quite narrow event, then - but product overkill is exactly what we complained about last time, so perhaps we should be grateful. And note that we have some news about those leftover Mac releases in the rumour mill section of this article.

For a full rundown of a busy and fascinating evening, read our guide to everything announced at Apple Unleashed.

Video of the week

Let's go a bit deeper on those new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips powering the updated MacBook Pro models.

Benchmarks for the M1 Pro are nearly double that of the M1, and the M1 Max is even more powerful. Still, not everyone wants or needs a Mac, and Intel has its own super-fast chip in the works. How can Apple continue to innovate upon its system-on-a-chip architecture, and will the company continue to outpace competition?

In the video embedded below, Michael Simon and Ken Mingis join Juliet Beauchamp to discuss what Apple's new MacBooks suggest about the future of the Mac, what that future means for competitors and what users should consider before upgrading.

News in brief

Severe Christmas shortages have been predicted for Apple products, affecting the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and many Macs. The delays could be so widespread that they significantly harm the company's revenue in a crucial quarter.

The new MacBook Pro falls frustratingly short of perfection, says Roman Loyola.

Karen Haslam compares the 14in and 16in versions of the new MacBook Pro and helps you decide which is the best choice. How are they different, and which offers the best value for money?

The dream of a touchscreen Mac is over, weeps Samuel Nyberg.

Jason Snell explains how the M1 Pro and M1 Max open up a world of possibilities for the Mac.

It's hard to keep track of Apple's relationship with Intel, which has had more ups and downs over the past couple of years than a Hollywood power couple trying to get in the papers. In response to Cupertino's switch to its own processors in the Mac, Intel has been running a punchy anti-Mac campaign called GoPC. But now Intel's CEO says the company is doing everything it can to revive the Apple partnership.

Halyna Kubiv compares the 2019 and 2021 AirPods for design, specs and features. Is the extra money worth it?

Are we really getting mad at the iPhone 14 already, asks the Macalope.

Software, bugs & problems

macOS Monterey finally launches on Monday! Karen Haslam outlines everything you need to know.

On which subject, here's how to find out if your Mac can run Monterey. And here's how to update macOS on your Mac. You might be wise to spend the weekend preparing with our guide to how to get your Mac ready for macOS Monterey.

Note, however, that Apple has officially postponed the launch of its eagerly awaited Universal Control feature for the Mac. The company has added a footnote to its list of Monterey features saying Universal Control will be "available later this fall".

The rumour mill

The MacBook Air remains unrefreshed following Apple's Monday-night announcements, but it's very much in the thoughts of the leaker and pundit community. This week we heard new evidence that the MacBook Air is getting a big redesign, likely including the addition of a screen notch, a switch from a tapered, wedge-like design to something more port-friendly, and new colours; Michael Simon reckons this will be the MacBook Pro for the rest of us. This won't be here until 2022, unfortunately.

Early 2022 looks likely to feature two big Mac launches, in fact, since the 27in iMac is also in line for an update. An analyst with an enviable predictive track record says Apple is sticking at 27in for the larger iMac, but will compensate with mini-LED and a 120Hz refresh rate - plus Apple Silicon chips, of course.

Apple's much-anticipated mixed-reality headset has hit production delays, according to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Manufacturing complications have led to mass production being postponed from the second to the fourth quarter of 2022, which may mean the launch itself doesn't happen until 2023.

Apple deals of the week

I've embedded a list of the best current Apple deals below, but other than that, we're done for this week. See you next Saturday, enjoy your weekend, and stay Appley!

1. Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £509

Now: £368.35  (£140.65 off)

Save £141 on the 44mm Watch 6 with cellular connectivity this Cyber Week - in a deal that outdoes Amazon's Black Friday discount!

2. Apple AirPods 3 (2021)

From: AO

Was: £169

Now: £159  (£10 off)

Considering how new they are, this £10 discount on the new AirPods is well worth having. Amazon is matching the deal.

3. Apple Watch Series 7

From: Amazon

Was: From £369

Now: From £349  (£20 off)

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers a larger, brighter display, slimmer bezels and more. Right now you can save £20 from Amazon, John Lewis, Currys and Very!

4. Apple 16in MacBook Pro, M1 Pro, 10-Core CPU/16-Core GPU, 2021

From: LaptopsDirect

Was: £2,399

Now: £2,199.97  (£199.03 off)

Laptops Direct has almost £200 off the 16in MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip, it's not as big a saving as KRCS, but it's an option if KRCS runs out of stock.

5. Apple iPad Air with Apple Pencil

From: Virgin

Now: £24.50 per month (2GB data)

Get an Apple Pencil with the iPad Air for just £2 extra per month compared to the iPad Air alone.

6. Apple Pencil (2nd Gen)

From: Amazon

Was: £119

Now: £99  (£20 off)

The second generation Apple Pencil for iPad has £20 off for Black Friday on Amazon, in a price that beats the retailer's Prime Day offer.

7. Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm, cellular, Stainless Steel) - Refurbished

From: Music Magpie

Was: £699

Now: £289.99  (£409 off)

The Stainless Steel, 44mm cellular Apple Watch 6 is the most premium option you can buy - but not if you buy refurbished from MusicMagpie, where it currently costs less than £300 with a massive £409 discount for Black Friday.

8. Apple iPad Air (64GB, 4th Gen, Wi-Fi + Cellular)

From: Currys

Was: £709

Now: £669  (£40 off)

Amazon has £29 off the cellular iPad Air with 64GB storage. It's nowhere near the £110 discount it had over Black Friday, but still a welcome price cut. Currys outdoes Amazon's price by £10 and also offers free next-day delivery!

9. Apple 13in MacBook Pro, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB (2020)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,299

Now: £1,159  (£140 off)

Amazon's price is good, and on Black Friday it went down £10 more to make it even more competitive!

 

10. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2021, M1, 256GB)

From: Amazon

Was: £849

Now: £799  (£50 off)

Save £50 on the brand new M1 iPad Pro 11in from Amazon 

11. Apple iPhone 12 (64GB)

From: Amazon

Was: £679

Now: £649  (£30 off)

Pick up the 64GB iPhone 12 in for £30 cheaper than going to Apple directly. The price is also £150 cheaper than the handset's launch price.

12. Apple iPhone 13 mini with iPad (2021)

From: Virgin

Now: From £40 per month, no upfront cost

Pick up the latest iPad and iPhone 13 from Virgin in this Black Friday/Cyber Week bundle.

13. Apple iPad Pro (2021, M1, 11in)

From: Currys

Was: £749

Now: £699  (£50 off)

Apple's exceptionally powerful M1-equipped iPad Pro for 2021 has a chunky price tag to match. But it's less chunky if you go to Currys - or Amazon, which is matching the deal.

14. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB (2020)

From: Currys

Was: £1,249

Now: £1,099.97  (£149 off)

Currys has a great deal on the 512GB MacBook Air with M1. This price means it's only £100 more than the entry-level model would usually cost, plus you get twice as much storage and that all important extra graphics core.

15. Apple MacBook Air, M1, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB (2020)

From: Currys

Was: £999

Now: £889  (£110 off)

You can get the £999 MacBook Air with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU in gold with a great discount from Currys or Amazon.

The next best deal is from KRCS who has it for £898. Get the KRCS deal here.

 

16. Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case

From: John Lewis

Was: £239

Now: £185  (£54 off)

A solid saving on the AirPods Pro, Apple's excellent true-wireless earphones with ANC. John Lewis is charging £199 but offers a free 2-year guarantee.

17. Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)

From: Amazon

Was: £379

Now: £319  (£60 off)

Following its official discontinuation in September 2021, retailers have continued to sell the Apple Watch Series 6 at a discount.

It cost £379 when new, so this is a generous saving; bearing in mind that the Series 7 does not represent a huge step forward, this is a decent option at just over £300. That said, it was cheaper on Black Friday itself at just £289.

18. Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm, Cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £479

Now: £403.85  (£75 off)

Save £75 on the 40mm Apple Watch 6 with GPS + Cellular connectivity. There's also £121 off the 44mm option.

19. pCloud Cloud Storage - 2TB Lifetime + pCloud Encryption

From: pCloud

Was: £1249

Now: £299  (76% off)

pCloud's Cyber Monday offer slashes 76% off a bundle that includes Lifetime Access with 2TB cloud storage and pCloud Encryption. The service is one of the best cloud storage platforms around.

20. Apple 27in iMac, 3.1GHz six-core, 10th-gen Intel, 256GB SSD (2020)

From: LaptopsDirect

Was: £1,799

Now: £1,569.97  (£229.03 off)

You can get a decent amount of money off the entry-level 27in iMac introduced in August 2020 from LaptopsDirect (although we have seen it for less in the past).