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Next year's MacBook, Mac computer lineup to get ARM chips like iPad

Apple could finally make the move to ARM-based chips for its computers early next year. The ARM-powered models could offer better efficiency for laptops.

twitter-logoAmritanshu Mukherjee | March 27, 2020 | Updated 12:35 IST


  • Apple could finally move to the ARM-based chips for its Mac computers next year.
  • The ARM chips will help Apple save on costs up to 60 per cent.
  • Apple will also put ARM processors in iMac models.

Apple makes some of the best mobile chips in the world and that has given its iPhones an unprecedented lead in terms of performance over equivalent Android phones. The recently announced 2020 iPad Pro with its A12Z Bionic chip can easily best some of the midrange laptops. If that's the case, shouldn't Apple use its own processors for its Mac computers? Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple has realised that and in the coming year, Apple will ditch Intel processors for some of its laptops and desktop models.

The latest report from MacRumours says Kuo in his latest research note has confirmed Apple moving to ARM-based chips for its MacBook and Mac models either from the fourth quarter of 2020 or early next year. Kuo states that Apple will churn out several MacBook and Mac models next year that will be completely relying on ARM chips. The number of those models is yet unknown and so is the distribution, i.e. which series will get the ARM treatment.

Kuo says that the new ARM-based processors could help Apple reduce its costs on processors by up to 60 per cent. The custom-designed chips will also help Apple fine-tune performance on these models, similar to what we have seen on the iPad models. Apple has an unprecedented lead when it comes to optimisation of hardware and software, and with the ARM chips on MacBooks as well as Macs, many of the models could benefit from more power-efficient performance.

Chances are that Apple could assign its ARM processors for the MacBook Air range and some entry-level models of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air is meant for basic computing on the move and with ARM processors, it can help Apple reduce the profile of the laptop further and improve battery life on these models. Apple recently updated the Air models with 10th Gen Intel processors and scissor-style keys for the keyboard.

On the iMac side, Apple may rely on the ARM chips for the entry-level models too. This could bring down the price of those models and make it ideal for those who want a basic computer for home use. If Apple is able to optimise the performance, it can even offer it in the models that are preferred for tasks like video and photo editing.

The new ARM-equipped models could be announced either in October when Apple usually announces a new iPad model and some Mac updates. Chances are that these ARM models could also debut next March.

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Tags: MacBook | Apple
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