Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has sent out a note to investors predicting Apple will release a Mac powered by an ARM chip in the first half of 2021.
Apple has long been rumored to be moving toward ARM-based Macs, rather than relying on Intel’s processors. While Intel may be the industry standard, as the computer market has moved toward laptops and mobile devices, Intel has struggled to keep pace with the needs of companies, such as Apple, that want to build powerful computers in sleek designs.
Recent MacBook Pros have struggled to maintain performance due to heat issues, resulting in the processors throttling to keep from overheating. The only solution is to build bigger, bulkier laptops that have enough fans to provide the necessary heat dissipation, something that goes against Apple’s entire design philosophy.
In contrast, Apple has had tremendous success with its ARM-based processors in the iPhone and iPad. When the 2018 iPad Pro was released, it was faster than 92% of all laptops, including Apple’s own. The most impressive thing is that this level of performance was achieved without a single fan, while delivering all-day battery life.
As a result, experts have believed Apple has been working to port macOS to ARM processors and readying the developer tools necessary to help third-party software developers make the transition. ARM-based Macs would allow Apple more control over its own devices and product release roadmap, while giving the company the ability to customize performance for its computers.
According to MacRumors, Kuo’s note included the following details:
“We expect that Apple’s new products in 12-18 months will adopt processors made by 5nm process, including the new 2H20 5G iPhone, new 2H20 iPad equipped with mini LED, and new 1H21 Mac equipped with the own-design processor. We think that iPhone 5G support, iPad’s adoption of innovative mid-size panel technology, and Mac’s first adoption of the own-design processor are all Apple’s critical product and technology strategies. Given that the processor is the core component of new products, we believe that Apple had increased 5nm-related investments after the epidemic outbreak. Further, Apple occupying more resources of related suppliers will hinder competitors’ developments.”
If Kuo’s prediction is correct, this will usher in a new era for Apple and open a world of possibilities for the Mac.