Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

This Week's Sponsor

Type and printing history told in a letterpress volume by tech journalist Glenn Fleishman

By Jason Snell

Apple has “peeked” my interest in its March 8 event

It’s official — Apple’s doing a product launch event on Tuesday, March 8. The company sent out invitations bearing the phrase “Peek performance,” a Dad-Joke-level play on words that frustrated humorless editors and sticklers everywhere.

Now begins the reading of the tea leaves1. While I usually try not to give myself a pareidolia headache by staring at Apple artwork and asking “what does it all mean, maaaaan?”, in this case I think it’s worth mulling things over a little bit.

It’s all about that second word—performance. Ever since Apple started including its own chip designs in Macs, Apple has—rightfully—promoted the power and promise of those chips heavily. Since new iPhone-class processors only really appear in the fall, this has to be a reference to Macs running Apple silicon.

What’s the Apple silicon news likely to be? There are a couple of options. First, and less exciting, would be the arrival of M1 Max and M1 Pro chips in new Mac models—perhaps a larger iMac, a new Mac mini, and even an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro. I’m so ready for a new iMac that I want this to be the case.

It’s not really a new story, though. A new story would be the release of the M2 processor, 16 months after the original M1 ushered in the Apple silicon era. But, assuming the M2 was based on the same core technology as the A15 processor in the iPhone 13, we’d probably expect to see only a modest speed boost.

Here’s the longshot: What if the performance Apple is teasing is something even bigger than we’re expecting? Reports have suggested that the company is working on a new Mac Pro based on multiple M1 Max chips working in concert. Everyone has assumed that a new Mac Pro would likely not appear until the end of the year, but maybe it’s ready now—or maybe Apple’s willing to give everyone a peek at the performance to come when the product ships later this year.

It’s also possible that Apple will debut the concept of two M1 Max chips working in concert to drive extra performance in high-end iMac and Mac mini models, which would make the performance story of those systems a bit more exciting than if they were merely running the same chips that we’ve already seen in the MacBook Pro.

At least we only have a few days to wait to find out. But, as silly and dad-jokey as “peek performance” is as a concept, I have to admit that it’s increased my anticipation for the event. So… mission accomplished, I suppose. We’ll see if next week’s event can deliver on that slogan’s promise.

  1. I usually call this “Apple Kremlinology,” but that’s just not a fun turn of phrase right now. 

If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.

Search Six Colors