It appears Apple is finally ready to begin making the move to ARM processors, with models expected to start showing up in late 2020 or early 2021.
AppleInsider saw a note to investors by TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo has a good track record when it comes to Apple predictions. In the note, Kuo says Apple is proceeding with an “aggressive processor replacement strategy,” with ARM-based desktops and laptops hitting the market in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on ARM-based Macs, and there is a strong case for the company to make the transition. In recent years, Intel has struggled to keep up with processor development and demand, with even some of its staunchest allies looking to rival AMD. Intel’s processors have also been plagued with critical security flaws, the latest of which has been labeled “unfixable.” To make matters worse, Intel’s chips have struggled to deliver the performance mobile users demand, while still keeping heat low enough for the sleek designs Apple is known for.
In contrast, Apple’s line of ARM chips have established themselves as strong performers. The A12X and A12Z in the iPad Pros are more powerful than the majority of laptops on the market and, importantly, achieve that performance without a single cooling fan being needed. The iPad Pros are also able to deliver all-day battery life—thanks in large part to the efficiency of the ARM chips—a feat that very few laptops can match.
Moving to ARM-based Macs would allow Apple to duplicate the “whole widget” advantage it has with its iOS devices, controlling both the hardware and software, ensuring they work together as well as possible. In addition, because Apple has already went through several processor migrations in the past, the company has vast experience building in backward compatibility, as well as providing developers with the tools they need to swiftly (pun intended) and easily port their apps.
All in all, this is good news for the Mac community and will likely usher in a new era of performance for Mac users.