Intel has refreshed its Kaby Lake processor offering today, with a particular focus on chips that are suitable for laptops and ultraportables. The eighth generation Intel Core processors promise up to forty percent jump in performance and will be known as Kaby Lake R, with the R standing for refresh.

The chips announced today are tailor-made for ultrathin laptops and convertible two-in-one machines. Which means the new MacBook machines from Apple are going to be a natural fit. That’s going to upset a lot of the geekerati.

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

Let’s be clear, the fact that Apple could be looking to update the MacBook range for arguably the third time within a year is not a significant problem for Apple’s bottom line. It’s forcing a refresh cycle onto the MacBook faithful – those who resisted last October with the first update (to most of the hardware but not the processor) and again after WWDC’s second update (to Kaby Lake) are rapidly running out of excuses not to get a new MacBook.

Of course, those that have upgraded to the new machines in the last 12 months are going to feel a little bit annoyed that they no longer have the ‘cutting edge’ MacBook. Although nothing changes with the already purchased laptops, the drive to be on top of the tree is something many macOS fans strive for.

What it does do is solidify, at least in my mind, Tim Cook’s strategy for the MacBook portfolio. The era of a laptop that would stay current for years, that would allow competent users to recycle the hardware by replacing key components at regular intervals, that would stay up to date with software releases… that era has passed. Where’s the corporate value in a laptop that can stay current for five years?

Instead, the MacBook range looks to be morphing towards the smartphone and tablet mode of sales… yearly updates of hardware with small incremental changes as often as possible. If you can get the faithful to update their MacBook every two years then you have a product cycle that rivals the iPhone, or at least the iPad.

All it needs now is for Apple to launch the ‘MacBook Pro Upgrade Program’ that will let users pay up their new macOS machine over 24 monthly payments… and upgrade to a new machine every 12 months by extending out the payment schedule.

Now read about the disappointments lurking inside macOS 11…

Follow me on Facebook. Find more of my work at, on Twitter, and Linked In. You should subscribe to my weekly newsletter of ‘Trivial Posts’.