Apple Expected to Announce Arm-Based Mac Plans at WWDC, Transition Away From Intel to Begin in 2021

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Apple plans to announce its upcoming shift to Arm-based Macs at its virtual WWDC event later this month, giving developers several months to prepare for the transition, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.


The report claims that the first Arm-based Macs will be released in 2021, adding that Apple plans to eventually transition its entire lineup of Mac notebooks and desktops to the custom-designed processors. This lines up with a timeframe shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple plans to release several Arm-based Macs starting next year.

Arm-based Macs are expected to have several advantages over existing Intel-based Macs, including faster performance and reduced power consumption. Apple would also no longer be at the mercy of Intel's development schedule.

Gurman reiterates that Apple is developing at least three Mac processors, with the first based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. TSMC is expected to manufacture the Mac processors based on its advanced 5nm process.

Apple's first Mac processor is expected to have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company apparently designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

WWDC 2020 begins the week of June 22 as an online-only event. Apple has promised a virtual keynote, where it is expected to introduce iOS 14 and other new software, and seemingly its Arm-based Mac plans too.

Article Link: Apple Expected to Announce Arm-Based Mac Plans at WWDC, Transition Away From Intel to Begin in 2021
 
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Martius

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2008
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Prague, CZ
I think we will see a Mac Mini special dev edition with ARM processor this year. It's a really big change and the only way to make it happen is to give developers a test device. Selling a laptop / iMac as test device is non-sense (all-in-one is not good for testing purposes), Mac Pro is too expensive. So Mac Mini is the choice IMO.
 

jaworskimatt

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2019
42
43
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I was very hopeful about the Intel switch, especially when it came to gaming. But now years after it happened, I am disillusioned. Especially after the Catalina drop of 32bit which showed how companies like Steam choose to treat Apple clients (all my Steam library was rendered useless unless I were to install Windows on my machine). Or how stuff like Borderlands 3 keeps deteriorating with each update. Back to console gaming for me, so I no longer care about the Mac architecture.

They are probably leaning towards making iPad and Mac the same family of devices in a few years, bringing the architecture closer makes sense.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2012
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Rewind to this, Steve's words still preach a decade on

SJ goes on to say that Mac is set for the next twenty years with this transition. Using that timetable we were expecting the next transition to start in 2026. So if we start in 2021 and finish in 2022 that would shave off 5 years from SJ vision. Then the next transition away from the ARM in will happen in 2036 to the next architecture.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,326
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In between a rock and a hard place
Damn it, I just bought an Intel Mac mini, too (my first Mac). They'd better not make it "obsolete" soon!
You'll be fine for quite some time. Besides, Apple obsoleting a sku doesn't mean your machine won't still work well beyond the "obsolete" designation.
If this transition means more affordable Macs across the board, I’m in!
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha :D
Arm co-processors please. Intel chips are too good for so many tasks. I don’t want to have to drop macOS for Linux.
Macs already essentially have ARM co-processors. The T1 and T2 chips are ARM, and in the case of the T2 besides security, it helps take some of the audio/video load off the CPU
 
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whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,571
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Cork, Ireland.
As a nerd, I'm excited by this. Judging by the pace of ARM progression, Apple seems to have excellent hardware teams, so for the first time they're designing (almost) the entire box, not being reliant on 3rd parties to keep up chip development.

As a user though, it worries me. Using virtualisation all the time at work; if Apple does go ARM-only the Macs in our office are gone.
 

Heelpir8

macrumors member
Feb 13, 2019
82
242
SJ goes on to say that Mac is set for the next twenty years with this transition. Using that timetable we were expecting the next transition to start in 2026. So if we start in 2021 and finish in 2022 that would shave off 5 years from SJ vision. Then the next transition away from the ARM in will happen in 2036 to the next architecture.
Seems Intel really helped Apple push up the timeline! :)
 

Gorms

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2012
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UK
Random guessing here, but iPad Pro makes sense as a dev transition kit. Has a keyboard, touch, trackpad, A12X/Z chip and perhaps there will be a special image of macOS for it. It's also portable. A G5 Tower made sense in 2005, but my guess is they'd want this to be portable.
this is my expectation too. A special macOS beta for iPad that emulates the iPad as if it were Mac. I actually won’t be surprised if the turn off touch input on the screen when booted in this mode
 
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