Apple’s transition to ARM-based processors will be expedited, according to one insider who expects the company to stop using Intel chips entirely across its Mac line by next year.
Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said on Monday that Apple is planning to move to custom Apple chips in a much shorter time frame than previously expected.
Apple’s Mac devices have been powered by Intel chips for the last 15 years.
The switch to Intel from the previous PowerPC architecture was revealed by Steve Jobs at an annual conference back in 2005.
Apple is now ready to move on to its own internally manufactured chips after becoming frustrated at Intel’s pace of innovation.
The move to ARM processors promises to deliver better battery life and slimmer form factors for devices, among other benefits.
There have been reservations that the new chips may not be able to match Intel in the performance stakes initially.
However, Kuo said in a note that he expects ARM Mac models to deliver a 50%-100% improvement on Intel-based Macs.
Apple’s new line of computers with ARM CPUs is expected to launch later this year.
This should include the “all-new form factor iMac”, which is set to arrive in Q4 2020.
There are potential obstacles to a seamless transition, including the fact that developers who have created apps for Intel Macs may not be able to update them for ARM processors straight away.
However, it will be beneficial in the long term as developers will be able to write apps for all of Apple’s devices, including iPhones and iPads.
Kuo also expects Apple’s market share and number of shipments to “significantly grow” following the transition.
A few other tech changes are planned for the Mac line-up, including the use of a new “mini LED” display type, which promises to deliver better contrast and colour reproduction than LCDs.
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