MacBooks With ARM Processors Coming Late 2020 or Early 2021
Apple is planning to launch new MacBooks with ARM processors by late 2020 or early 2021, as per a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Ming-Chi Kuo's note says that Apple is working on launching new MacBooks with its custom-designed ARM processors, and plans to launch it in the fourth quarter of 2020 or first quarter of 2021. His note does not clarify whether these MacBooks will be Air, Pro or just a different new model. Kuo had previously said that the first ARM based Mac with 5nm chips will launch in the second half of 2020.
Kuo also says that MacBooks with all-new designs will launch in second or third quarter of 2021, but does not share which MacBook models will these be.
In another report, Kuo said that Apple is working on launching new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor-mechanism based keyboards, in second quarter of 2020. It is possible that these were going to be announced in the March event, which is rumored to have been postponed because of coronavirus. Mass production for these new MacBooks will start by the end of March, as Kuo expects operations at MacBook component suppliers to resume by then.
The rumor mill has been running at full speed recently with regards to MacBook news. Almost a week ago, Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is working on new products for 2020, with miniLED technology. These include a 10.2-inch iPad, 7.9-inch iPad mini, 27-inch iMac Pro, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and a 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh. It is unclear whether Apple's plans to release ARM based processors will coincide with its plans to introduce a new 14-inch MacBook Pro with scissor-keyboard mechanism, or if Kuo was referring to a different line of products. Apple had killed off the 12-inch MacBook, so it is entirely possible that the company might bring it back with a fresh design, improved keyboard, miniLED display and A-series ARM processor.
We laid out Apple's potential plan for switching from Intel to ARM recently. If Apple plans to roll-out ARM based Macs to users, WWDC 2020 would be the best time to announce the transition plan and release an SDK for developers. This will give developers sufficient time to develop and test their apps on actual ARM-based Macs, and also allow Apple enough time to ramp up production and iron out any software issues with the transition.
Apple had previously transitioned Mac from PowerPC to Intel chips, back in 2005.