We knew it was coming, but it may happen quicker than most of us expected. According to Bloomberg, Apple is likely to announce its transition from Intel to ARM chips for its line of Macs at the upcoming — and virtual — Worldwide Developer Conference.
Unveiling the initiative, codenamed Kalamata, at WWDC would give outside developers time to adjust before new Macs roll out in 2021, the article says. However, since the hardware transition is still months away, the timing of the announcement could change, they added, Bloomberg adds, quoting unnamed people familiar with Apple’s plans.
In August 2018, ARM presented its roadmap for future CPUs, saying that they’ll be able to outperform Intel chips. Apple is already building its own iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch chips. It has also created fingerprint chips, and designed a chip for its AirPods that allows pairing with other Apple hardware. The tech giant also built the AI chip introduced with the iPhone X. The next logical step is making chips for its desktop and laptop lines.
As for ARM-based Macs, here’s how the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) sees the roll-out progressing (and it will gradual, not all-encompassing): first the MacBook Air (unless Apple tests the waters with a new version of the 12-inch MacBook), next the Mac mini, next the iMac, then the MacBook Pro, and finally the Mac Pro. I don’t expect to see any ARM-based Macs targeted to pro users until 2022. (I’m not sure how long the iMac Pro will be around now that the Mac Pro is here.)
Starting June 22, Apple will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June in a new online format “packed with content for consumers, press and developers alike.”