Apple is set to unveil its long-awaited Mac transition from Intel to ARM processors today, its line of WWDC 2020 keynote, and the analyst Ming-chi Kuo has released his predictions for the first Mac that will use new Apple-designed processors. His research note has been reported by MacRumors, 9to5Macand AppleInsider.
First of all, Kuo said the last new Mac with an Intel processor will never be an all-new iMac design with thinner bezels and a 24-inch display. This iMac is said to be slated for release in Q3 2020, but an ARM version will follow in the first quarter of next year.
The first ARM of the Mac is likely to be a 13-inch MacBook Pro in Q4 or 2020 Q1 2021, Kuo said; the form factor is supposed to be similar to the current model. The Production of the Intel version, it seems to stop once the ARM model is introduced, but there is no word on if it will be the same for the iMac. Kuo also believes a new ARM-based MacBook design to start production in mid-2021.
Apple’s transition to ARM-based the range is from 12 to 18 months, according to Kuo. The analyst expects that the new ARM machines outperform their Intel predecessors of 50 to 100 percent, although the actual return will depend on what Apple decides to prioritise with the new models. If a hypothetical Apple processor is 50% more efficient than an Intel chip, for example, that the margin could theoretically be spent on the extension of the life of the battery at similar speeds or the realization of faster performance within the same thermal envelope.
Apple choosing the MacBook Pro and the iMac as its first ARM-based Macs would be the mirror of the history of the last Mac processor of transition. At WWDC 2005, Apple announced that it would move from PowerPC processors to Intel for performance reasons, and then, in January 2006, the company released its first Intel-based Macs: an iMac with a Core Duo inside of the old G5 chassis, the all-new MacBook Pro replaced the PowerBook G4.
As such, it is likely that the ARM-based consumer Mac hardware will not be presented at WWDC 2020. Apple may, instead of making the test materials available to developers, so the software can be adapted to run on ARM processors in the time for the computers to launch.