It has been a few months since we last discussed Apple potentially switching to ARM processors for Macs. Microsoft is moving in on the ARM laptop market in partnership with Qualcomm and from the sounds of it, Apple hopes to compete in this area too. According to analysts this week, Apple could make the jump to ARM as early as 2020.
According to Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is working on developing its own ARM-based CPU, which could appear in Mac computers in either 2020 or 2021. This would mark a significant change for Apple, as the company has remained loyal to Intel CPUs for over a decade.
The transition will likely begin with Apple's laptop range, with the standard MacBook or possibly the MacBook Air. In the long run, the benefit to Apple here is that it no longer needs to rely on Intel's own roadmaps before it can refresh new products. It also means less royalty fees for Apple, which is something the company has been trying to escape lately by moving towards its own GPU designs in the iPhone and iPad.
According to Kuo (via The Verge), Apple will be tapping TSMC to manufacture these new processors, which makes perfect sense. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has exclusively been pumping out Apple's A-series chips for iPhones and iPads for the last couple of years.
KitGuru Says: Switching over to ARM would come with its own set of complications in terms of software compatibility on newer Macs. However, this is a problem that Apple has encountered before and successfully overcome. It'll be a couple of years, but it sounds like we'll be seeing a bigger push towards ARM by the time 2020 rolls around.