Apple's big developer conference, WWDC, is usually not the place for hardware updates, but as Tim Cook said at the beginning of WWDC 2017, "This is the biggest WWDC ever." To that end, Apple announced upgrades to nearly every single product in its computer line up, and thoroughly screwed over every single person who bought a MacBook Pro back in November.
Things started off nicely enough. Apple announced an update to the iMac, with discrete AMD graphics cards coming to every 4K iMac that are powerful enough to let you enjoy the HTC Vive VR headset. There were also additional Thunderbolt 3 ports and a processor improvement: The newest iMacs will run Kaby Lake.
Kaby Lake, Intel's latest processor family, wasn't supposed to exist. Earlier this year Intel announced the end of its well-known tick-tock release schedule, whereby it trots out a new processor every September. The tick is the shrinking and improvements of the current microarchitecture, while the tock is a whole new architecture. Instead last year's 'tock', Skylake, was going to hang around a while, with no new 'tick' in sight.
If you've heard Kaby Lake discussed in relation to Apple, it's because Apple has skipped Kaby Lake in the past. Notoriously when Apple refreshed its laptop line last year, for the first time in two years, it skipped out on Kaby Lake.
Now it's updated every single laptop and desktop to Kaby Lake. This is a huge improvement for iMacs and the MacBook, but it's deeply deeply annoying for those of us who bought the newly redesigned MacBook Pro back in November. Particularly as these new Kaby Lake machines are cheaper as well.
The only bright side, for early adopters, is that Kaby Lake mobile processors aren't always that much faster than Skylake processors — something Gizmodo learned when pitting the Skylake Macbook Pro against Kaby Lake machines from Razer and Dell.
While these kind of processor refreshes are very common with other computer makers, Apple has always been very slow to embrace processor updates. In fact, it's long been part of the "Apple Tax" (alongside the higher price Apple computers demand). So, from an early adopter who hoped she had at least a year before you refreshed and made her device obsolete — goddammit!
Sent from my 2016 MacBook Pro.