Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

mactinkerlover

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2020
119
102
Alright, so I want to hear y'alls speculations on when you guys think that intel macs will get dumped. Heres my speculation: The apple silicon transition will finish sometime in 2022. The macos that comes out at the end of 2023, which I'm guessing will be mac os 14, will be the last to support intel. Then, the mac os that comes out the end of 2024, which I'm guessing will be mac os 15 will not support intel and be apple silicon only. This is my guess based on how apple did it for the powerpc to intel transition and how apple does mac os releases now a days. So what do you all think. And how much longer do you think that the m1 macs will be supported over intel? And when do you think intel will get dropped?
 

Yebubbleman

macrumors 601
May 20, 2010
4,454
1,239
Los Angeles, CA
Alright, so I want to hear y'alls speculations on when you guys think that intel macs will get dumped. Heres my speculation: The apple silicon transition will finish sometime in 2022. The macos that comes out at the end of 2023, which I'm guessing will be mac os 14, will be the last to support intel. Then, the mac os that comes out the end of 2024, which I'm guessing will be mac os 15 will not support intel and be apple silicon only. This is my guess based on how apple did it for the powerpc to intel transition and how apple does mac os releases now a days. So what do you all think. And how much longer do you think that the m1 macs will be supported over intel? And when do you think intel will get dropped?
This is not the PowerPC to Intel transition. Also, the first generation Intel Macs had 5 years of ability to run the latest macOS (with the additional two years of security update support thereafter). Intel Macs from 2012 had eight years of being able to run the latest macOS release (and that just ended two weeks ago), and they'll have another two more years of support thereafter. Even PowerPC Macs purchased in 2005 had four years of being able to run the latest release (with two years of support thereafter). So, the trend is that Apple is supporting its Macs for longer, not shorter.

Given that, I expect that the last macOS to support Intel Macs will come out no sooner than 2025. But realistically, 2027 is a conservative estimate. Maybe 2028. Could even be as late as 2030 if the trend continues the way it has. Then, they'll have two more years of security update support with Rosetta 2 being deprecated two to three years thereafter. Like Apple keeps saying, it'll be a while. That said, I do expect the M1 Macs that just came out to last longer than the 2020 Intel Macs released this year, if only by one or two macOS releases.
 
  • Like
Reactions: __xg__fv__c@

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,455
279
Home
Maybe not dropped, but if they're languishing, suddenly far behind, they'll be stable Catalina and Big Sur Macs.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,357
908
I've posted my thoughts on the timeline in other threads, which asked the same question (no, you're not the first to post such a thread @mactinkerlover )

At the announcement of the change they said it would be 2 years to transition the entire lineup over.
Final Mac to transition, if the timeline is kept - 2022 (probably the Mac Pro)
Final Mac to sell (new or refurbished) - 2023
AC expiration on the final Macs to sell - 2026

Based on that timeline, the final OS release that will support Intel will probably be 2026 as I can imagine an uproar if Apple dropped OS updates before the last Mac (especially the Mac Pro) is no longer getting AC support.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
812
768
I think we will see new OS support through at least 2024-2025, and possibly even longer as Apple may still sell Intel Macs in some capacity through the end of 2023. This is anyone's guess but Apple has been pretty good about OS support and in recent times the length of support they have provided has been quite long. I just bought an Intel Mac as I am not worried about short support periods.
 

nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
383
391
I agree. Last new OS for Intel Macs around 2025, then three years of updates of any kind for the OS. End of 2028, there will be no more updates for Intel MacOS.
How about the error ratio? I would estimate -1/+2, that is, in the shortest span, Intel Macs are at the end of 2027 out in the wilderness, end of 2030 at the latest.
But I think 2027/28 is more realistic than 2030. Why? Intel hasn‘t developed much further in the 2010s, so the old machines were fine until this year. Apple Silicon seems to be a game changer/quantum leap, potentially stimulating a lot of Intel Mac users to switch, therefore reducing the Intel Mac user base. I could imagine that this group diminishes in the next years so that Apple comes in, say, 2023/4 to the conclusion not to develop a new MacOS iteration for Intel. But even then, until 2027, at the minimum, will be around a supported MacOS.
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
1,652
4,351
Scotland
It’ll be 3 OS updates I think. Then Apple will let us know we can save disk space by having Intel support removed. Or that it will reduce resources needed. Basically by the time it happens everything will be universal.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,357
908
It’ll be 3 OS updates I think.
I disagree. As long as there are Macs out there supported by AC+ Apple would, or should, continue to release new versions of macOS to support them. See my timeline above - 2026 would be the last of those.

Then Apple will let us know we can save disk space by having Intel support removed.
This is different from not supporting Intel at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ght56

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,924
2,186
If you include security patches, I say 10 years from the year Apple stops selling intel Macs. If that happens next year (which I somewhat doubt in the case of the Mac Pro) the last OS compatible with Intel will be around 2027.
 

NewUsername

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2019
412
774
We don’t know. I don't think Apple will drop support as fast as it did for PowerPC though. Times are different.

It's true that 2005 PowerPC Macs were only supported until 2009. That's short, but not really unheard of: an iMac from 2000 would be supported until 2005, for example, and a 2003 iMac would be supported until 2007.

The G4 was also a slow and out-of-date chip by 2009, so it would probably be dropped regardless of the transition. The G5 was still good (and 64-bit!) but it only existed in the Power Mac (since 2003) and the Xserve and the iMac (since 2004). So in absolute numbers, those simply weren't that many computers.

Our Intel Macs, on the other hand, will be fast enough for years to come, equally fast as the Windows computers. And there are millions of them.

Also, note that Apple did drop support for a couple of Macs for Big Sur, but certainly not more than usual. They could have perfectly dropped support for the 2013 MacBook Air, for example, but they didn't. So far they don't seem to rush dropping Intel.

I think most Intel Macs will just see their regular lifespan of 7-8 years of macOS support and 2 years of security updates. Apple might also opt to drop support after 6 years, but promise 4 years of security updates for the very late Intel Macs (2019 and 2020 models). But I definitely expect at the very least five years of full macOS support, so the earliest would be macOS 16 in 2025.

I expect Apple to drop support for Intel Macs and for Rosetta at the same moment, similar as when iOS 11 dropped support for 32-bit iPhones and also for all 32-bit apps. So we won't have a "Snow Leopard" which didn't run on PowerPC Macs but could still run PowerPC software.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
6,029
2,902
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Apple has a policy of supporting Macs for between 5 to 7 years after they have been discontinued. The timer doesn't start until the product is pulled from Apple's current lineup and then it ticks for about 6 years. So anything that is currently available for purchase from Apple should be good until around 2026, maybe longer.


Final Mac to sell (new or refurbished) - 2023
AC expiration on the final Macs to sell - 2026

Based on that timeline, the final OS release that will support Intel will probably be 2026

Based on that timeline, it seems to me that Apple would have to support that "final Mac" until at least 2029. But I am frequently wrong with my Apple predictions! 😂
 
  • Like
Reactions: NewUsername

bloodbuzz_ohio

Cancelled
Dec 1, 2020
29
26
Apple is still selling Intel Macs. And a lot of them. So I would say they won't be dropping support anytime soon.
 

NewUsername

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2019
412
774
Apple is still selling Intel Macs. And a lot of them. So I would say they won't be dropping support anytime soon.
I think the OP's point is that Apple dropped support for PowerPC very quickly; they stopped selling PowerPC Macs in 2006 and already in 2009, OS X Snow Leopard didn't support PowerPC Macs.

Apple did give PowerPC users of Leopard security updates until 2011 though. That's 6 years after the release of the latest PowerPC Macs in 2005. That's actually not that bad.

I also don't think you can simply assume this transition will be the same as the PowerPC-Intel transition. Computers last much longer now than they did back then (partly thanks to Intel's lack of progress!). Intel will still be a widely used architecture without Apple. Apple is a much bigger company now. Customers don't accept anymore that their expensive computer is outdated after three-four years. Et cetera.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bloodbuzz_ohio
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.