Future Macs Could Swap ARM for Intel: Report

Apple analyst Kuo thinks Apple’s ready to ship ARM-based Macs in 2020

Why This Matters:

Switching to ARM would put Mac desktops and laptops on the same platform as iPhones and iPads, opening up the possibility of fully merged platforms. On the other hand, this is all just a rumor

macOS Sierra on MacBook
Courtesy of Apple

It’s been 14 years since Apple made the big switch from PowerPCs to Intel CPUs in its desktop and laptops systems. Now, according to a report spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple might be very close to starting its next big silicon switch, this time to ARM.

Behind the scenes: Virtually all mobile devices run on ARM-based chips (Qualcomm makes many of them). Apple already designs its own custom ARM chips for all its mobile devices. The iPhone 11 Pro currently carries the A13 Bionic and the new iPad Pro has the A12Z Bionic. And most modern Macs include Apple’s ARM-based T1 chip that manages, among other things, security.

Who says so: Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid Apple prediction track record, already predicted that Apple would eventually move in this direction, but this new report moves up the timeline.

Why do this? Kuo claims it could save Apple significant money. In addition, all systems running on the same chip platform could open new cross-platform capabilities. Apple already provides software developers with the Catalyst tool that helps them port iPad apps to the Mac. Still, macOS has never run fully on an ARM CPU.

It’s not crazy: Microsoft is already porting its desktop OS, Windows, to ARM processors. New laptops from Samsung and Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X. The benefit is energy-efficiency, strong performance and, often, integrated modems.

Bottom line: Apple will switch desktop and laptop processors when it benefits their system performance, customers, and its bottom line. An ARM-based Mac would seem to check all of those boxes.

Via: 9to5Mac

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