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SW3029

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 22, 2019
500
2,604
I wonder if Apple will drop support for Intel Macs this year from the upcoming macOS? Now that most Apple computers have their thrid generation of M-series chips, I wouldn't be surprised.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
7,496
5,673
Horsens, Denmark
I highly doubt that. The Intel iMac had a new model released in 2020 and the Mac Pro with Intel was the latest model until June 2023. If you bought a Mac Pro with an Intel chip, let's say April 2023, you may have known Apple Silicon was coming, but that's still an unreasonably short support window

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of features were only coming to Apple Silicon Macs
 

Andrey84

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2020
254
213
Greater London, United Kingdom
I wonder if Apple will drop support for Intel Macs this year from the upcoming macOS? Now that most Apple computers have their thrid generation of M-series chips, I wouldn't be surprised.
More on this topic:
Rules for Mac OS dropping hardware support and for retiring Mac OSs

Best analysis of how it worked in the past:
How long will the last Intel Macs be supported? macOS Sonoma gives us some hints

In a nutshell, exactly what @Feek said - it's very unlikely Intel support will be dropped by Mac OS 15. It's possible to happen with Mac OS 16.

Intel iMacs have been sold until March 2022. I believe by law these have to be supported by the latest software for 5 years, so there is a good chance that even Mac OS 16 won't drop Intel.
 

benmuetsch

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2020
39
12
Intel iMacs have been sold until March 2022. I believe by law these have to be supported by the latest software for 5 years, so there is a good chance that even Mac OS 16 won't drop Intel.
Intel Macs have been sold until the release of the M2 Ultra Mac Pro in mid-2023. :cool:

I guess that macOS 15 and (hope that) 16 will still support Intel at least with the now "basic" features.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,570
7,514
Intel iMacs have been sold until March 2022. I believe by law these have to be supported by the latest software for 5 years, so there is a good chance that even Mac OS 16 won't drop Intel.
I'm not sure there's any law that says they have to be supported by the latest software (which would be hugely restrictive) - Apple don't owe you any features that weren't promised when you bought it – but consumer law in the EU, UK and other places would require Apple to repair their products for 5-6 years (hard if you can't restore the OS) after the last sale, and would take a dim view if you got locked out of services after a few years, so Apple really need to have a supported OS for 5-6 years.

I suspect that they could have dropped Intel support time from 10.14 if they'd wanted, provided they supported 10.13 for at least 5 more years - including backporting anything needed to maintain support for services and current peripherals - instead of the usual 3 years after release. (Oh, Apple, please, please make a long-term support version of MacOS!)

Edit: 14, not 10.14. Duh!

More likely though they'll drop it at the point when the Intel Macs they were still selling in 2023 are at least 2 years old and will be covered by the usual 3 year support cycle of the current OS - so the consensus "of not before MacOS 17" seems reasonable. Still - Apple could choose the long-term support option if they wanted.

Also, the last couple of MacOS releases have restricted many new features to Apple Silicon Macs. I wonder if "long term support" for the last Intel compatible version might be the best idea.
 
Last edited:
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rbart

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2013
1,232
944
France
I think they will support Intel with macOS15 (at least).
But they can limit drastically support to new feature.
For example, it's impossible to build visionOS apps with Xcode on intel platforms.
More and more important features will be reserved to Apple silicon.
 
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chevyboy60013

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2021
446
225
The next million dollar question will the awesome team at OCLP be able to patch it so we can still continue to run the latest and greatest os on our unsupported macs like we can with Sonoma, like will the same models be able to be patched or is sonoma likely the last one for that?
 

gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,578
1,376
Tasmania
The next million dollar question
I think it is obvious that once Intel Macs are not supported, there will be no Intel code in the macOS distribution and OCLP will be dead.

Not so obvious (to me) is what happens when (and I think this likely in macOS 15) support for Intel Macs without T2 chip is removed - iMac 2019 is the only non-T2 Mac supported by Sonoma. An Intel T2-only boot process https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/security/sec5d0fab7c6/web adds new barriers for OCLP to get over.
 

JustAnExpat

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2019
983
986
I'd be surprised if Mac OS 14 is the last version for Intel. I think Mac OS 15 would be the last version. Mac OS 15 for Intel would be virtually a patch update. There might be a chance Mac OS 15 Intel would get some new features, and Mac OS 16 would be the patch only update, with Mac OS 17 being M only.

I think the first two version of Mac OS for Apple Silicon can be hacked to run on Intel machines. Someone got Snow Leopard, intel only, to run on Power PCs.
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,959
7,117
Perth, Western Australia
Doubt it, you could still buy an Intel Mac Pro last year and they will support that with new software releases for at least 3-5 years or more and some of those users are using high end GPUs that Apple doesn't quite have a legitimate alternative for yet.

So essentially - support time frame needs to tick down, and in the mean-time Apple needs to improve their high end GPU options.
 

RumorChaser

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2023
50
74
Just because Apple should come out with a replacement for the Pro GPU before discontinuing the old one doesn't mean they will. Just because they should support those recently discontinued Macs longer doesn't mean they will. (And if they don't, you just have to do it their way or take the highway)

Existing law requiring Apple to fix the hardware doesn't force them to release software updates for the same length.

I really like Ars's analysis, because they speak with data rather than thin air. They also nicely separated the analysis between "average time since introduction" and "average time since discontinuation" by "OS upgrades" and "security updates". The 2005 macs on average were supported for 4.13 years since introduction. We are at 3.8 years for the 2020 MacBooks. For the discontinuation metrics, 2005 Macs average 3.47 years. If you average the 2019 Macs (including the Mac Pro), it is about 2.1 years up till now.

If 2005 is any guide (it wouldn't be because that was a long time ago), getting 1 more OS upgrade in 2024 for Intel Macs is inline with 2005.

My money is on 0 or 1, either 14 or 15 is the last one for Intel Macs, with 15 being more likely.
 
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TheIntruder

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2008
1,712
1,209
For all the preaching Apple does about putting users and user experience first, one would think they'd have the courtesy, if not respect, to provide clear software support guidelines for its products, and not make it a guessing game.

They do it for hardware, and should do it for software as well.
 

coffeemilktea

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2022
897
3,674
It took Apple three years to drop support for PowerPC chips. They replaced all their PowerPC Macs with Intel chips in 2006, and support for PowerPC dropped in 2009.

Since they switched over the entire line with the Apple Silicon Mac Pro in 2023, I guess 2026 is when they finally drop Intel support?
 
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Regulus67

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2023
384
375
Värmland, Sweden
I suspect that they could have dropped Intel support time from 10.14 if they'd wanted, provided they supported 10.13 for at least 5 more years - including backporting anything needed to maintain support for services and current peripherals - instead of the usual 3 years after release. (Oh, Apple, please, please make a long-term support version of MacOS!)
How could Apple have dropped support for Intel from macOS 10.14.1 Mojave?
Apple unveiled macOS 10.14 Mojave back in June 2018 at the WWDC 2018.
 

northernmunky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2007
829
295
London, Taipei
I would hope not, I still have a lot of machines (some of which were bought just before Apple Silicon was announced) that are nowhere near past their useful life just yet. The Intel Mac Pro's are still pretty decent. I cant justify replacing them for the moment.
 
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fisherking

macrumors G4
Jul 16, 2010
11,110
5,449
ny somewhere
I would hope not, I still have a lot of machines (some of which were bought just before Apple Silicon was announced) that are nowhere near past their useful life just yet. The Intel Mac Pro's are still pretty decent. I cant justify replacing them for the moment.
even when apple does stop supporting intel macs, they will continue to run. as to when that is, we can only speculate. but i agree, it's not going to happen with OS 15 (altho i could be wrong; i was wrong once before...)
 
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JustAnExpat

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2019
983
986
even when apple does stop supporting intel macs, they will continue to run. as to when that is, we can only speculate. but i agree, it's not going to happen with OS 15 (altho i could be wrong; i was wrong once before...)
It'll also continue getting patched (somewhat) too
 
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