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In addition to forecasting the launch of new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards in the second quarter of 2020, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple has bigger ambitions for its notebook lineup.

In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple plans to launch MacBook models with its own custom processors in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. Kuo did not indicate whether these will be MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models, or both, nor did he share any further details.

16inchmacbookpromain.jpg

Rumors have suggested that Apple is working on custom Arm-based processors that would allow it to transition away from its current MacBook processor supplier Intel, which has occasionally experienced delays with its chips.

Kuo also believes that Apple will introduce MacBook models with an all-new design in the second or third quarter of 2021, but again, he did not indicate whether these will be Pro or Air models. The last significant redesign of the MacBook Pro occurred in October 2016, while the MacBook Air received a major redesign in October 2018.

Article Link: Kuo: MacBooks With Apple-Designed Processors Coming Late 2020 or Early 2021, All-New Design to Follow in Mid 2021
 
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Mr. Dee

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The PPC to Intel transition took less than 12 months to complete. Will the Intel to iPhone chips take less than that?

How long will Adobe take to transition their Creative Cloud?
Adobe has already started the transition, thats why we have Photoshop for the iPad and Illustrator soon to follow. Sure, it does not have feature parity and Adobe admits that. But, its the same code base and Adobe is adding features over time that either matches or reimagines it for the iPad. By the time Apple has a notebook ready with A-Series, Adobe should already have two of its key apps optimized for it.

Personally, I am moving away from Adobe anyway and my upgrade needs have drastically changed in the past few months. Even when these new devices come to market, I suspect I will still be using my 2015 MBP and 2017 iPad Pro and iPhone X. The necessity in having the latest and greatest has faded, well, at least for some of us. But, I am looking forward to seeing how Apple handles this one.
 
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eulslix

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Dec 4, 2016
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Hmm, I was kind of expecting a new design later this year, together with MiniLED. But I can’t wait until next year. I wonder what’s the best approach here... buy a 16” now and upgrade next late summer? That would give also buffer in case something goes wrong with the production and software compatibility.

On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?
 
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ipedro

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The PPC to Intel transition took less than 12 months to complete. Will the Intel to iPhone chips take less than that?

How long will Adobe take to transition their Creative Cloud?

They’re already doing it. Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and soon, Illustrator, are already built for ARM.
 
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ghanwani

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Hmm, I was kind of expecting a new design later this year, together with MiniLED. But I can’t wait until next year. I wonder what’s the best approach here... buy a 16” now and upgrade next late summer? That would give also buffer in case something goes wrong with the production and software compatibility.

On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?
Buy the cheapest machine that satisfies your needs and plan to upgrade early and often.
 
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paradox00

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Sep 29, 2009
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Kuo did not indicate whether these will be MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models, or both, nor did he share any further details.

How about neither? I'd expect the first MacBooks with custom ARM processors to be just that: MacBooks. Not MacBook Pro and not MacBook Air, just MacBook. The first ARM MacBook should be the realization of the dream that the 12" Macbook failed to achieve (because Intel's ultra low power chips weren't fast enough or cheap enough). ARM on Mac will have to prove itself before it replaces Intel in the Pro or Air.
 
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Coder256

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May 21, 2014
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There’s just no way. With PPC to Intel, there was Rosetta which kept compatibility for PPC on all Intel Macs from 10.4.4 (first Intel version) all the way until 10.7. Then, the 64-bit transition was a loooong time in the making but they first warned developers in December 2017 by requiring 64-bit in the Mac App Store, and external apps were still supported with a warning until 10.15 (released October 2019).

Switching to ARM would most certainly be completely incompatible. Unless they manage to pull off another feat like Rosetta (which would likely be MUCH harder in this case), it seems extremely unlikely that they would switch to ARM and break compatibility with all apps considering that they have yet to warn developers.

I think there’s a good chance, actually more likely than not that they will eventually switch to ARM for many reasons (efficiency, unified architecture across all Apple products, etc.) and some non-Apple portable PCs already use ARM. However I think that’s a long ways away, unless they run iPadOS. macOS isn’t ready for ARM.
 
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fokmik

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Switching to ARM would most certainly be completely incompatible. Unless they manage to pull off another feat like Rosetta (which would likely be MUCH harder in this case), it seems extremely unlikely that they would switch to ARM and break compatibility with all apps considering that they have yet to warn developers.
The switch will be probably done within 2-3 years, starting with a macbook or macbook air and let developers take their time
 
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Spungoflex

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Oct 30, 2012
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Hmm, I was kind of expecting a new design later this year, together with MiniLED. But I can’t wait until next year. I wonder what’s the best approach here... buy a 16” now and upgrade next late summer? That would give also buffer in case something goes wrong with the production and software compatibility.

On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?

Buy what you need when you need it. In tech, “the next big thing” is always right around the corner. I’ll admit a switch to ARM is pretty significant. But I wouldn’t stress about resale value, unless you are buying a Mac Pro.
 
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BootLoxes

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Apr 15, 2019
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To be honest if apple switched to arm i see them refreshing the whole line at once. If you do what microsoft keeps doing and give an intel/amd alternative then devs are not really going to bother to port their stuff over to the arm version.

Apple doing the switch all at once on a majority of products with conformation that all products are switching to arm would give devs no choice but to make their stuff compatible
 
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Mr. Dee

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There’s just no way. With PPC to Intel, there was Rosetta which kept compatibility for PPC on all Intel Macs from 10.4.4 (first Intel version) all the way until 10.7. Then, the 64-bit transition was a loooong time in the making but they first warned developers in December 2017 by requiring 64-bit in the Mac App Store, and external apps were still supported with a warning until 10.15 (released October 2019).

Switching to ARM would most certainly be completely incompatible. Unless they manage to pull off another feat like Rosetta (which would likely be MUCH harder in this case), it seems extremely unlikely that they would switch to ARM and break compatibility with all apps considering that they have yet to warn developers.

I think there’s a good chance, actually more likely than not that they will eventually switch to ARM for many reasons (efficiency, unified architecture across all Apple products, etc.) and some non-Apple portable PCs already use ARM. However I think that’s a long ways away, unless they run iPadOS. macOS isn’t ready for ARM.
We are in a different period right now, and Apple is not gonna switch their entire lineup to A-Series overnight. This is definitely about low hanging fruit. For the users who need to dual boot Windows on a Mac or run it in a VM is very niche. If Windows is that detrimental to your livelihood, you likely have a cheap or equivalently specced out notebook hanging around. This is not the 2000’s with one PC homes. I have a MacBook Pro, Surface Pro and iPad Pro. That one in a million scientist working for some special company who needs a Mac and want run Windows is kind of a unicorn. AKA #enthusiast.

Another thing to keep in mind, just like Apple is good at transitions, so is Microsoft at making Windows NT portable. Apple easily commission Microsoft to port Windows 10 to A-Series, giving them all the resources they need to target it. It’s just that, what would be the overall benefit in the short term and looking at the future of computing.
 
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imdropbear

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Sep 12, 2019
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On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?

I don't really think they will lose their resale value. They might even stay pretty popular depending on how mac OS on Arm works out. It's hardly comparable to the PowerPC->Intel situation back then since back then we went from an Apple-exclusive CPU to a commonly used one which meant a lot more compability and easier portability for other Desktop OS apps. Now it's the other way round. We're going from the standard CPU architecture to an Apple exclusive one which means software compability will be a huge issue, especially early on. Sure you gain easier to implement compability with mobile OS apps but what's more important on a MacBook?

I'm sceptical about this even though I really like where Arm CPUs are going. I think this switch will be more painful than last time but last time it worked out in the end and I'm hopeful it will this time too.
[automerge]1583999757[/automerge]
On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?

I don't really think they will lose their resale value. They might even stay pretty popular depending on how mac OS on Arm works out. It's hardly comparable to the PowerPC->Intel situation back then since back then we went from an Apple-exclusive CPU to a commonly used one which meant a lot more compability and easier portability for other Desktop OS apps. Now it's the other way round. We're going from the standard CPU architecture to an Apple exclusive one which means software compability will be a huge issue, especially early on. Sure you gain easier to implement compability with mobile OS apps but what's more important on a MacBook?

I'm sceptical about this even though I really like where Arm CPUs are going. I think this switch will be more painful than last time but last time it worked out in the end and I'm hopeful it will this time too.
 
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Arne-IC

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My biggest concern is, will those new Macs be able to run old Windows applications? Even though I don't like them, I still need them. If the new Macs support it (via WINE or Crossover etc), I will be one of the first to buy one.
 
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larrytang

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Dec 11, 2016
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We are in a different period right now, and Apple is not gonna switch their entire lineup to A-Series overnight. This is definitely about low hanging fruit. For the users who need to dual boot Windows on a Mac or run it in a VM is very niche. If Windows is that detrimental to your livelihood, you likely have a cheap or equivalently specced out notebook hanging around. This is not the 2000’s with one PC homes. I have a MacBook Pro, Surface Pro and iPad Pro. That one in a million scientist working for some special company who needs a Mac and want run Windows is kind of a unicorn. AKA #enthusiast.

Another thing to keep in mind, just like Apple is good at transitions, so is Microsoft at making Windows NT portable. Apple easily commission Microsoft to port Windows 10 to A-Series, giving them all the resources they need to target it. It’s just that, what would be the overall benefit in the short term and looking at the future of computing.
I am curious to see how Apple will manage to design a CPU for Mac Pro that has tons of CPU options and limited sale. Even future Mac Pro only features a single CPU option, the shipment will not support Apple to price it reasonably. Plus Arm doesn’t have a performance edge compared with x86, especially for float operations.(unlike PPC to x86) I think the best strategy for them is to use customized AMD and design an ARM co-processor.
 
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bluecoast

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Nov 7, 2017
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This seems a bit weird. You’d expect the more consumer oriented machines to get A series processors first as consumers are more likely to use (Apple optimised) 1st party software.

However, is Apple really going to switch existing designs and lines such as the Air to ARM?

It makes way more sense to bring back the ‘MacBook’ name to a new ARM powered 13 inch computer with the Air on temporary standby (ie it hangs around for the next 12 months) for those that need intel - dual booting into Windows to run intel only software, for example.

Not to mention, that the MacBook name is associated with thinness, fan-free, a lengthy battery charge and with a consumer oriented performance - exactly the key selling points of an ARM Mac (along with presumably, a 5g modem).

Mind you, the ‘Air’ name carries a lot of consumer recognition, although it does feel as if the branding belongs around 2010 or so.
 
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larrytang

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Dec 11, 2016
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This seems a bit weird. You’d expect the more consumer oriented machines to get A series processors first as consumers are more likely to use (Apple optimised) 1st party software.

However, is Apple really going to switch existing designs and lines such as the Air to ARM?

It makes way more sense to bring back the ‘MacBook’ name to a new ARM powered 13 inch computer with the Air on temporary standby (ie it hangs around for the next 12 months) for those that need intel - dual booting into Windows to run intel only software, for example.

Not to mention, that the MacBook name is associated with thinness, fan-free, a lengthy battery charge and with a consumer oriented performance - exactly the key selling points of an ARM Mac (along with presumably, a 5g modem).

Mind you, the ‘Air’ name carries a lot of consumer recognition, although it does feel as if the branding belongs around 2010 or so.
I think the Macbook you were talking about is basically an iPad with iOS 14.
 
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fokmik

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Did Apple learn from the PowerPC fiasco? We need x86 compatibility with the 97% of the world, and that means Intel chips inside Macs! Otherwise, it is a deal breaker and switch to Windows. A shame for all.
Different times...ios android ARM were 0
Statistically, ios apps and developers can easy make up for 50-60% of the world.. that 97% was for the 90’ We are in 2020 now, more than 20 years ahead
You can switch to windows but just for couple of years..because we know how this world works
 
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dlondon

macrumors 6502
Sep 6, 2013
328
174
Hmm, I was kind of expecting a new design later this year, together with MiniLED. But I can’t wait until next year. I wonder what’s the best approach here... buy a 16” now and upgrade next late summer? That would give also buffer in case something goes wrong with the production and software compatibility.

On the other hand, maybe the current models will completely lose their resale value once the redesigned models hit the market, so maybe waiting until the MiniLED would give the best value out of this gen at least. But then again, those are only rumors and this wait would already be a stretch for me. Tough call...

What do you think?

Similar situation here but I'm looking to purchase both a work and personal device. The work one has to be purchased this month (before financial year ends). Ideally this would have been the new 13/14" model for portability between our offices, but the new model isn't going to be released in time. I'm likely to go for 16" as the upgraded specs of a 13" is similar in price to a standard configuration of 16" and the 13" seems likely to be replaced in a matter of months.

I would prefer the 16" for my personal device but it seems silly to have two 16" models. I don't mind waiting for personal device (as waited two years already). I hadn't planned to have the smaller sized model as a personal device, but perhaps 14" model, with specs closer to the 16" could work out better for me.

I'm less bothered about getting an ARM model as I think it will take a while to transition software and it may be better not to go for first gen models anyway. I had wondered if Apple would have two processors initially – ARM for lower power consumption when browsing web and productivity, and Intel for more intensive applications. I don't know if this is even possible but the use of the T2 chip makes me think it is. However, I guess this would be too expensive and probably be necessary given how powerful the ARM chips seem to be (and I'm sure Apple would prefer to move away from Intel anyway).
 
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