Apple’s new Mac chip turns heads and promises bigger changes

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For now, Apple’s new M1 chip — fast, power-smart, and literally cool — is just a major hardware upgrade that’s winning rave reviews.

But down the road, the M1 will pave the way for new Apple devices that could bridge the divide between Mac and iPhone/iPad computing and transform the devices we use every day.

The big picture: The M1’s success is a shot across the bow to Apple’s competitors, and not just to Intel, whose semiconductors Apple is leaving behind after 15 years. Microsoft and Qualcomm have been trying — and struggling — to make a similar leap with Windows, but the M1’s success shows that Apple still holds on to its innovation lead.

Apple has jaded us with ho-hum product unveilings for so long that it was easy to dismiss the company’s hype for the new processor. But once the M1-based computers landed in the world’s laps — including ours — it became clear that the new chip deserved its plaudits.

Between the lines: Swapping out processors is no simple matter, and when Apple announced this shift, our advice would have been to hold off buying a new Mac unless you really needed one.

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