Waiting for ARM Macbook


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 23, 2011
It was speculated that Apple plans an ARM based Macbook 12. What would be potential benefits of an ARM device?

Faster processors and graphics with longer battery life, because Intel essentially already hit the wall with ultra low voltage processors. Customized in house silicon with predictable upgrade cycle and shared R&D with IOS devices, including integrated Face/Touch ID and eSIM cellular chip ported over from iPhones, giving competitive advantage over Intel based PCs. Anything else?
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Feb 9, 2003

i too am looking forward to an ARM device that:

1 runs a version of iOS
2 has an integrated keyboard
3 has an integrated trackpad

i don't need it or even want it to have any sort of touch screen capability at all

Touch ID, as implemented on the new 2018 MacBook Air is great and needed.
i dont want Face ID on it or any cameras constantly scanning my face all day.

eSIM as you say, would be great.

screen size of 12 or 13 inches.

same weight as current MacBook (around 1.0 kg)

want 18 hours battery life.

i would pay around USD 1500 such a device.

name it the New MacBook Air.

leave MacBook new models to continue to operate with macOS.
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Feb 9, 2003
There was a recent patent by Apple on a keyboard based on haptic touch. This can solve several issues with current butterfly design.
i would only buy it if in fact there is some travel in the keys.
i will not but it if only haptic or other faux touch.
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macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
I'm not sure if the Macbook will get ARM at the next update but i do think a redesign is due, i think we could see:

Liquid Retina Display - They did it with the iPhone XR and the new iPad Pro's, i do think it's coming to Mac's
Keyboard update - I think there will either be a 4th gen or a redesign of the butterfly keyboard since it was first introduced on the Macbook
Better processors - whether it will be ARM i'm not sure
Face ID - not sure it will happen on the MacBook first, i think the Macbook Pro may get it before the Macbook

I don't think the redesign will be massively drastic, i just don't see what else they can add to it.


macrumors 68000
Jul 5, 2002
i would only buy it if in fact there is some travel in the keys.
i will not but it if only haptic or other faux touch.
If you actually couldn’t feel the difference, it’d be merely a psychological issue. Having no key travel at all - while thinking to feel travel - would bring more benefit than disadvantages imho.


macrumors regular
May 9, 2015
Having gone through the PowerPC -> Intel transition with Rosetta (shudder), it’s like the past is happening all over again if Apple switches to ARM...


macrumors member
Sep 15, 2018
I beg to disagree. The 2017‘s continue the first design from 2015 - and that’s a pretty minimalist, timeless design. It makes no sense to change that design for the sake of change alone.
Sorry, I meant a refresh. The internals are pretty dated.


macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
You won’t get an ARM MacBook, Apple have confirmed they are more interested in having a co-processor (eg T2 chip) rather than to replace Intel (as big of a headache as ever, those who think it isn’t that bad are the same who think Brexit will be fine :rolleyes:). The gains of ARM are overstated and people, like they have with Brexit, have a fantasy vision of what ARM would actually bring them. (Yes, I had to bring in politics, sorry folks).

Now I am not saying it will never come, but you’ll have to wait for the industry to move to ARM as a whole, so that compatibility becomes a non-issue. Unlike Apple’s ill decision going all USB-C in 2016, you can’t simply use a $5 dongle to solve ARM compatibility issues.

You may think “but what about all these rumours?!”, if you look, you can find ARM rumours well before 2012 even. It’s not a new type of rumour (further fueled by the fact that Apple changed once from PowerPC to Intel).
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