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Kuo: A wholesale transition for Apple to ARM MacBooks and Macs to start next year - as we predicted

Apple's market-leading mobile ARM-based SoCs are headed into 'several' new MacBooks and Macs in 2021. (Source: Apple)
Apple's market-leading mobile ARM-based SoCs are headed into 'several' new MacBooks and Macs in 2021. (Source: Apple)
In his latest research note, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has forecast that Apple will make a large-scale transition to ARM-based MacBooks and Macs in 2021. Previously Kuo had indicated 2021 would be when the first ARM-based Mac would ship, but wasn’t it still wasn’t clear that Apple would take baby steps or go the whole hog. At the time, we correctly speculated that there were good reasons for Apple to go hard on the ARM-based Mac transition and it looks as though the same rationale will drive the change.

Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the more accurate Apple analysts out there thanks to his contacts deep in Apple’s supply chain. Although not always accurate, he has a pretty impressive track record overall. Last month, Kuo amped up interest in Apple’s long-rumored transition to ARM-based Macs starting in 2021. Most observers have assumed that Apple would start with a 12-inch MacBook replacement, however we felt that there were enough reasons, including increased profit margin on its chips, for Apple to drive the ARM transition harder than expected.

Based on Kuo’s latest research, that looks very much to be the case. According to Kuo, Apple is indeed prepping ‘several’ new ARM-based MacBooks and Macs for a 2021 launch. Kuo expects that Apple will save between 40 to 60 percent on processor costs by switching to its custom ARM-based chips over Intel’s x86 designs. Also, as we argued, it will give Apple greater product differentiation of most of its PC-based competition, much as it did when if first switched to design its own smartphone and tablet chips.

Rumors of Apple’s transition to ARM for its own Macs started back in 2011 and we are now nearly ten years down the road. Apple has been spending billions of dollars on research in that time, the fruits of which haven't really seen the light of day. Most were anticipating a huge Apple World-Wide Developer Conference in June as a result of the recent ARM-based Mac rumors, but unfortunately the hype factor will be reduced somewhat with the event forced to move online due to the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Still, with 2021 looming as the drop date for ARM-based Macs, expect WWDC 2020 to still be a landmark event.

Who knows, it might even lead to the introduction of Boot Camp Assistant for ARM-based Macs to run Windows 10 ARM64, if our dream of Boot Camp Assistant on the new iPad Pro doesn't come to fruition...

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Kuo: A wholesale transition for Apple to ARM MacBooks and Macs to start next year - as we predicted
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-03-27 (Update: 2020-03-27)