Apple Leak Unveils New Radical MacBook

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Apple may be preparing to update 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro machines to Intel’s tenth-generation processors, but its long-standing project to bring ARM power to its MacOS platform is gaining momentum, with reports today that an exit in 2021 is on the cards.

April 25 update: One of the biggest hurdles facing an ARM-powered MacBook will be support for third-party applications, so Apple is unlikely to be able to switch from Intel to ARM in one move. . This is probably not the plan.

Roland Moore-Colyer at Tom’s Guide spoke to a number of analysts (including Geoff Blaber of CCS Insight and Avi Greengart of Techspotential) about the nature of an ARM-based MacBook.

The easiest way to access the laptop market is to support Google Chromebooks:

Currently, Chromebooks are popular with students but are generally quite basic, with more premium models being expensive and using Intel processors. And Chrome OS just isn’t as flexible or flush with applications as macOS or Windows 10.

… All of this means that there is a gap in the market for Apple to make a low-consumption but well-designed laptop at an affordable price to offer more flexibility than Chromebooks and get around the shortcomings of Windows 10 on ARM ; something Blaber says Apple can learn.

Apple would ensure that its own main applications run on ARM, including iWork, its multimedia applications and the most important browser. That there is enough to assume Chrome OS with a light MacBook running the new chipset.

A number of chips are under development. The first is based on the A14 system on chip that will equip the iPhone 12 smartphone family and should be the first to be launched. A second generation chip, potentially with additional commuting power for more demanding applications, is also in the works.

The reports come from Mark Gurman, Debby Wu and Ian King from Bloomberg:

Apple is preparing to release at least one Mac with its own chip next year, people say. But the initiative to develop multiple chips, dubbed Kalamata, suggests that the company will further abandon its Mac line from current vendor Intel Corp.

Taiwan’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Apple’s partner for the iPhone and iPad processors, will build the new Mac chips, said people, who asked not to be identified while discussing private product plans. The components will be based on a 5-nanometer production technique, the same size that Apple will use in future iPhones and iPad Pros, one of the people said. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment, as did Intel and TSMC.

It is not a quick or easy project, but there are some advantages if the move is successful.

Perhaps the most important will be to reduce Intel’s influence on the Apple product line. The pace of updates from Intel is not on an annual schedule, which leaves the Mac family of laptops and desktops waiting for Intel’s new chips, rather than fitting into the annual cycle saved Apple seen on iPhone and iPad platforms.

This is added to Intel as an external point of failure. Apple has no problem with iPhone processors, as evidenced by regular annual updates of Axx silicon. But there have been several issues with the provision of 5G modems from external vendors. When Intel stopped its efforts in 5G, Apple is indebted to Qualcomm for the next few years.

(In the meantime, Apple has purchased Intel’s 5G modem division to bring it in-house to use Qualcomm as a transition space).

A unified approach around the Axx architecture for iOS, iPadOS and MacOS offers a number of scale benefits. Resources can be concentrated and better managed, Apple can choose its own path and try to shape the market as it pleases, and MacOS machines could go through a regular update cycle, potentially annually for low-end laptops, semi-annually for Pro laptops, and every three years for desktop power plants.

It can be said that Apple already has an ARM-based laptop. Okay, the screen and the keyboard stand out from each other, but the iPad Pro and Magic keyboard combination is being pushed hard by Apple into the “your next computer” space.

The main difference with an “iPadOS laptop” and a MacOS machine is that Apple has a lot more control over the iPadOS platform, which applications can run there and can take all payments through the platform into account as well. seems to him.

The transition to ARM will cause the same headaches encountered by any manufacturer who changes architecture; developers will face a new environment and applications will need to be recompiled or recoded for the new chips.

The development of new applications will be in a better situation with Apple. There is already a lot of experience in the ecosystem through the use of ARM on iPhone and iPad. This will make the transition from Intel to ARM smoother. There is an added advantage that coders who stayed with iOS and did not make the jump to MacOS can now be tempted.

The “brutal break” between Intel and ARM means that existing applications will not be able to run natively on new MacBook machines. Apple could run an emulation layer to authorize an Intel virtual machine, but I wonder if Tim Cook and his team would take a more ruthless approach and say there will be no getting started – if the developers want applications run on new machines, so they will need to code native ARM applications.

After all, Cook took the same approach when MacOS Catalina removed 32-bit support … it was the 64-bit lane or the highway.

Previous reports have suggested a launch date in late 2020 or early 2021. Given the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Apple is largely expected to focus on meeting the iPhone 12, which will see other products decline . With the challenges of moving from Intel to ARM, it makes sense that these Mac machines are late.

Learn more about Apple’s ridiculous price for a set of wheels …

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