An Apple analyst expects the Cupertino-based company to announce its first Arm-based Mac at the Worldwide Developers Conference this year. According to Ming-Chi Kuo's research note, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the iMac with "all-new form factor" will be among the first five models using the processors as reported by CNET.
Apple is reportedly ready to use its chips for Mac computers like what it did to the iPad tablet when it was launched in 2014. Rumors about Apple's decision to create its chips have been going around for years. This would mean the tech giant will drop Intel processors on some of its computers, particularly the Macbook Air.
This move would also allow Apple to customize its chips to fit its penchant for ever smaller and thinner devices. According to 9to5Mac, Kuo predicted that the first models to use an Apple-designed processor could be launched as early as the end of the year with the 24-inch Arm-based iMac.
Apple's chips are based on technology designed by Arm Holdings, a subsidiary of Softbank Japanese conglomerate. They are also used as the basis for chips made by Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung. Meanwhile, Apple's latest chip, the A13 Bionic, powers the iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE.
Apple has not yet released a comment regarding the issue.
The first online WWDC
Happening on June 22 to 27, this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be the first to happen online as the coronavirus pandemic has limited mobility and events.
Apple will hold its opening keynote for this annual event on Monday, June 22, when the company is expected to discuss the launch of iOS 14 for the iPad and iPhone, and the new WatchOS and MacOS software to power its Apple Watch, MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Pros.
However, the biggest announcement is not for any of its devices but its new ARM-based MAC computers. Since April 2018, Apple has been reported to be in the early stages of creating its processors for its computers. Once the shift happens, the Mac's future will be like the iPhone and iPad's processor strategy.
Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report cited an anonymous source familiar with the company's plans saying the transition may take a year or more, particularly for new computers that may not immediately arrive.
According to the Bloomberg report, Apple's testing of Arm-based Mac computers has shown better graphics performance and apps using artificial intelligence than Intel-powered devices. The computer maker is also reportedly working on at least three of its own Mac processors, with the first one to arrive in 2021.
In the past, Apple has designed new fans to keep its laptops cool, new laptop cases using a single piece of aluminum, and new keyboards that allow a lower-profile screen and hinge. With this change, Apple can use its well-regarded iPhone and iPad chips that are expected to run cooler and offer a longer battery life.