The discussion around the topic of ARM based Macs never seems to die. For years, rumours and reports have suggested that Apple is working on ARM powered Macs by using its in-house designed chips.
The chips found in the iPhone and the iPad are extremely powerful and they even beat a lot of traditional desktops/laptops in terms of performance. In an advertisement of the iPad Pro, the video suggested that the iPad Pro is faster than 95% of the computers in the world.
In-house chip design
So it makes sense for Apple to design and manufacture its own chips rather than depending on Intel for the supply. For some time now, Intel has struggled to iterate and supply the necessary amount of chips to computer manufacturers. As a result, the upgrade cycle of the Mac has also taken a hit.
The rumour mill right now suggests a 2020 release of the first ARM based Mac. Apple has been teasing the use of ARM based apps to run on the Mac platform without requiring much of changes. The company has released Swift UI and Catalyst to help developers make writing of apps for both Mac & iOS at the same time possible and also to bring iPad apps to the Mac.
Apple knows that it needs to move forward as companies like Microsoft push for touch-screen laptops and desktops with Windows. Phil Schiller, SVP of Marketing, Apple has said multiple times that the company is not considering making touchscreen laptops as it finds them difficult to use.
ARM will help Apple improve the battery life of its MacBooks and also release new laptops every year without major supply chain issues. It could also reduce the cost of the laptops but it’s very unlikely. Also, ARM chips run cool, so there would not necessarily be a need for fans in the laptops.