Apple is blaming Intel for the recent drop in Mac revenue. CFO Luca Maestri wrote: “Next I’d like to talk about the Mac. Revenue was 5.5 billion compared to 5.8 billion a year ago, with the decline driven primarily by processor constraints on certain popular models.”
CEO Tim Cook added that without those constraints, he believes that the firm’s Mac revenue would have been higher than last year. This implies that the chip supply issues partly caused the lack of MacBook updates so far this year, as well as possible hardware delays.
It’s obvious that the stock shortages and manufacturing issues that Intel has with its latest processors affected the biggest part of the computing industry. The company has been focusing on producing higher-end processors, which bring in the biggest profits, but this meant fewer budget and mid-range CPUs. It seems that the problem will not be resolved before Q3 2019.
Cook, however, believes that these processor supply shortages won’t affect Apple’s current quarter and that things should improve later in the year if Intel could actually resolve its production issues.
This might result in no MacBook updates this year before Intel has abundant silicon available. Even the much-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro might have to wait until next year or even 2021.
These issues with Intel are another solid reason for Apple to switch to ARM chips with the Mac. Rumors are in fact doing the rounds that it’s already taking place and that by 2020, Apple will be using customized ARM-based chips.
This will not only give the company more control over its own supply chain but will also boost profit margins. Having all products, including Macs, iPads, and iPhones, powered by similar ARM CPUs will come with further benefits, as apps can be developed more easily to run across the various pieces of hardware.