Apple may abandon Intel processors for ARM-based Macs and MacBooks

Bloomberg reports that Apple may officially confirm their plan to stop using Intel processors for Macs and Macbooks, and switch to its ARM-based chips. The new development might be announced this month at WWDC 2020, which is due to commence on June 22nd.

The rumors of Apple shifting to its ARM-based processors in Macs have been around for years, but the new report claimed that the switch was imminent and that the first set of Mac powered by an ARM-based processor would arrive in 2021. Apple is making the announcement this month to give Mac apps developers enough time to adjust their apps before the new ARM-based Macs roll out next year. The company already has at least 3 ARM-based Mac processors in development.

The new chips would be developed around the ARM-based A14 processor used in iPhone and iPad devices. The chips would be designed by Apple and built by TSMC. TSMC (Taiwan Semi-Conductor Manufacturing Company) also manufactures processors for AMD and NVIDIA. 

It was also reported that the shift has been prompted by Intel’s slowing performance gains and that Apple’s internal tests of Macs with ARM-based chips have shown big performance increases over their Intel-powered alternatives. The increased power efficiency of ARM-based processors could result in thinner and lighter MacBooks in the future, however, they will still run the desktop-focused macOS. The shift to ARM will eventually include the entire Mac lineup.

The new development will be a big blow for Intel, which has provided the CPUs for Macs and MacBooks since 2005.

Apple makes up around 10% of the worldwide PC market, that’s a substantial loss of revenue for Intel, though it still dominates laptop and desktop processor sales – for the moment, at least.

Other manufacturers, including Microsoft, Samsung, and Lenovo, have also debuted laptops with ARM-based processors, as well as offering an increasing number of devices that come with AMD processors as well.

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