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