ARM based Macs coming in 2021, says Kuo

Ruben Fields
March 29, 2020

The latest rumor is interesting mainly because Apple is apparently planning not only to launch ARM-powered laptops, but it could also launch ARM-powered Mac desktops.

Kuo had already asserted that Apple will push out MacBooks with a custom-designed ARM processor which he previously said could be here as soon as the final quarter of 2020, or the first quarter of 2021. More importantly, Apple will no longer be tied to Intel's whims, which has delayed the development, production, and shipping of the promised silicon in the past. Now Kuo is saying we'll be seeing them early in 2021, and on desktops to boot. Analysts have begun backing up that idea this year, tipping that the first ARM-powered Mac should arrive next year. The exclusive provider of USB controllers for future models will perform Taiwanese firm ASMedia Technology, writes MacRumors with reference to the report. Cheaper parts are synonymous with a flexible cost structure and possibly more competitive product prices.

The A-series processors that power the iPhone and iPad are more powerful than Intel's chips in tests, a detail that prompted many people to speculate that Apple would use similar chips within its computers.

KitGuru Says: A switch from Intel x86 processors to ARM will be interesting to see.

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However, when Apple transitioned from PowerPC to Intel, the 15-inch MacBook Pro led the way, with the new 13-inch MacBook replacing the iBook before it could receive a new chip. Apple ships about 20 million Macs yearly. Apple is ahead of the competition when it comes to mobile chips, and that competition has already created ARM chips for Windows 10 devices, and Microsoft also supports the new genre of devices.

USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3 and offers transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s (twice the current 20Gb/s maximum) and backward compatibility with USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3.

Apple has been speculating about the transition from its Mac platform to ARM for nearly a decade.

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