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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.

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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> 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)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.