Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported Apple would debut its first Macs with custom ARM-designed processors at the 2020 WWDC conference. On Sunday, MacRumors reported analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently posted an investors note affirming the publication’s story.
The technology industry insider also offered new information regarding forthcoming release windows and form factors.
The New ARM-Powered Macs
According to Kuo, Apple will launch an ARM-enhanced MacBook Pro and iMac in either late 2020 or early 2021.
The analyst noted the next iteration of the MacBook Pro will feature the same exterior design as its predecessor but with a revamped chipset. The laptop will have a 13.3-inch screen and will be followed by a refreshed model in mid-2021. Kuo wrote that the Big Firm’s 2021 MacBook would boast a new chassis and mini-LED panel.
The supply-chain expert also said Apple would discontinue its Intel processor-powered MacBook Pros after its replacements go into production.
The Apple insider said the first ARM chip equipped iMac would feature a design overhaul, including a new form factor and a 24-inch display. However, Kuo said the electronics manufacturer would debut one final Intel processor embedded iMac in the third quarter. After that, the company’s Mac line will feature a custom-made CPU going forward.
Besides, the analyst mentioned ARM architecture would give the new Macs a 50 to 100 percent processing speed increase from the prior generation.
Why Apple Embraced ARM-Designed Computer CPUs
Although Apple’s intention to go all-in on ARM chips is a recent development, it is hardly a surprising move. The Silicon Valley giant has indirectly indicated such a transition would be forthcoming for some time.
Last year, the iPhone maker made headlines by abruptly signing a new supply deal with Qualcomm after years of litigation. As part of the agreement, the San Diego chipmaker agreed to produce the Cupertino, California-based firm’s handset modems. Consequently, Intel, Apple’s former mobile device antenna provider, effectively exited the smartphone chip business and sold its mobile device assets to its old partner.
In addition, Axios revealed the device maker teamed with the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to fabricate its ARM-based PC chips in April.
Though Apple did not disclose why it made the change, Qualcomm’s handset modems had a reputation for best-in-class performance. While the conglomerate is known for prioritizing quality in its products, it also likely made the change to exert greater control of its manufacturing process. CEO Tim Cook has sought to bring the core technologies used in Apple’s products under its dominion since 2009.
Furthermore, Apple reportedly teamed with two Taiwanese optoelectronics firms to build a new $334 million display plant earlier this month. Based on its recent actions, Apple’s plan to put its entire supply chain under its strict supervision is proceeding apace.