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WWDC 2020 may not see new hardware reveals; full transition to ARM expected starting from 13-inch MacBook Pro and redesigned iMac in late 2020 or early 2021

Apple WWDC 2020 may turn out to be a software-only affair. (Image Source: Apple)
Apple WWDC 2020 may turn out to be a software-only affair. (Image Source: Apple)
Apple's WWDC 2020 event may not showcase all the new hardware launches we've been expecting so far. Instead, Apple is expected to focus on new software updates and announce the existence of ARM-based Macs so as to get developers up to speed. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to fully transition to ARM in 2021 starting from the ARM-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro and redesigned iMac.
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Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is all set to begin in about half a day from now. Initially thought to be a "big event" with multiple hardware and software announcements in tow, it now looks like Apple may stick to a more traditional software-centric presentation. This information comes from Jon Prosser and Max Weinbach citing insider sources.

Though both Prosser and Weinbach usually highly reliable, they do advise on keeping the proverbial salt handy. However, this information may actually be true as Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also hinted something on similar lines. According to Gurman, Apple may announce ARM Macs at today's event to allow developers to start porting their apps, but the actual hardware would launch only later this year.

Now, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also echoed similar sentiments. In an investor note, Kuo says that the 13-inch MacBook Pro and a redesigned iMac would be the first ARM-powered Macs. These devices are expected to launch sometime in late 2020 or early 2021. According to Kuo, the ARM 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will supersede the current Intel-based variant. Apple will discontinue production of the Intel variant after launching the new ARM-powered MacBook Pro.

The ARM iMac will see a new form-factor and a 24-inch display. Specifics are not yet known, but Apple will launch one more Intel-based iMac refresh in Q3 2020 before the ARM variant hits the market. 

Kuo expects Apple to take anywhere between 12 and 18 months to completely transition to ARM; the company is expected to equip the entire Mac lineup with ARM chips from 2021. H1 2021 will see a new MacBook model with a mini-LED display while an unspecified MacBook and a custom Apple ARM SoC are expected to enter production in H2 2021. 

Kuo feels that Apple can "create competitive advantages for MacBook models in two years" given the expected transition to ARM, use of mini-LED displays, and incorporation of scissor-switch keyboards across the lineup.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1358 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > WWDC 2020 may not see new hardware reveals; full transition to ARM expected starting from 13-inch MacBook Pro and redesigned iMac in late 2020 or early 2021
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-06-22 (Update: 2020-06-22)