Apple announcement unveils new MacBooks and AirPods 3

BySamantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business, CNNWire
Monday, October 18, 2021
Apple to unveil new products at annual developers conference
EMBED <>More Videos

Apple is getting ready to unveil some new products at its annual developers conference.

Apple showed off its second batch of new products ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.

At a virtual event on Monday, the company showed off two high-end MacBook Pro laptops powered by its next-generation silicon chip. It also unveiled AirPods 3, its entry-level wireless earbuds that borrow a few features from its higher-end AirPods Pro line, CNN reported.

Apple's event came amid ongoing concerns about global component shortages and logistics issues across the tech industry. Still, Google will unveil its Pixel 6 smartphone on Tuesday, and Samsung is hosting a mysterious press event the following day.

The video featured is from a previous report.

Here's a look at what Apple announced:

MacBook Pro

Apple announced new MacBook Pro laptops that use its new in-house M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, which promise to be 70% faster and more efficient than its previous M1 chip.

The Pro comes in two sizes -- 16 inches and, for the first time, a 14-inch model -- and features thinner bezels and improved displays, with a higher refresh rate. Other improvements include longer-lasting batteries and an advanced front-facing camera that can take 1080p video.

RELATED: Apple unveils iOS 15 with new features for post-pandemic life

Apple also ditched its digital Touch Bar, a divisive feature that replaced the row of function keys at the top of the keyboard with text prediction and shortcuts. But the Pro does include a fingerprint sensor located in the power button.

The company is also bringing back the HDMI port, SD card slot, and a MagSafe charger, the last of which was removed when Apple introduced USB-C ports to the line.

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro model starts at $1,999 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro model starts at $2,499.

AirPods 3

Apple introduced an update to its entry-level AirPods that offers features of the AirPods Pro line.

AirPods 3 comes with spatial audio, better sound quality -- providing more powerful bass and crisp high frequency -- and is sweat and water resistant for workouts. It also comes with a new contour design and adaptive EQ, a feature previously found only on AirPods Pro. The wireless earbuds customize sound in real time by adjusting frequencies based on what your ear is hearing.

RELATED: Remembering Steve Jobs legacy 10 years after his death

The latest model touts improved battery performance, promising up to 6 hours of battery life, and 5 minutes of charge time will get an hour of use. Apple is also adding MagSafe and wireless charging to the case.

AirPods 3, which are available for pre-order starting today, cost $179, while AirPods 2 are now $129. AirPods Pro will remain at $249 and its over-the-ear headphones, AirPods Max, cost $549.

A few surprises

The company is adding a splash of color to its HomePod mini line. In addition to black and white, HomePod mini will soon be available in orange, yellow and dark blue for $99 each, starting in November.

Meanwhile, Apple Music is getting a voice plan with Siri integration. For about $5 each month, subscribers can ask Siri to pull up playlists, songs and radio stations. The voice-only option is cheaper than its existing plan $9.99/month and the Family Plan at $14.99/month.

macOS Monterrey launch date

Although Apple previously teased new features coming to macOS Monterey back in June, it never formally revealed a launch date until now. The latest Mac software, which includes updates to FaceTime, support for AirPlay, a low-power mode and a tab-grouping feature in Safari, will be available for download starting October 25.

(The-CNN-Wire & 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)