12in MacBook or 12.9in iPad Pro? Tipster claims ARM-powered 12-core 5nm MacBooks will arrive this year, potentially putting both iPad and MacBook buyers in a bind
A 12in ARM-powered MacBook could be arriving as early as late 2020, as opposed to next year, according to tipster @L0vetodream. In a short post, the tipster stated the following: "ARM Mac this year."
The rumor mill's been awash with rumors about an ARM-powered 12in MacBook for quite some time, now. However, earlier reports strongly indicated that we wouldn't be seeing this part for at least another year. According to @L0vetodream, however, we'll be seeing the 12in MacBook this year, possibly in time for the release of the iPhone 12 lineup and the new iPad Pro.
This has the possibility to put buyers in a bind: do they buy an iPad Pro with an ARM-based A14 chip or an ARM-based MacBook? Earlier rumors indicated that the ARM-powered MacBook would remain significantly more powerful than the iPad.
However, if Apple resorts to using an emulation layer to run x86 MacOS apps on ARM - something we've seen with ARM-powered Windows devices - actual real world performance could be substantially worse than on an iPad Pro running native iOS code.
Windows laptops with Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM processors like the Snapdragon 8cx-powered Galaxy Book S deliver great battery life, but compromise on performance.
If the 12in MacBook does arrive this year, buyers already split between the iPad Pro (a device Apple positions as a laptop replacement, and smaller MacBooks, could find it even harder to make a purchase decision.