Apple could announce its long-rumored shift to ARM for the Mac as soon as its upcoming WWDC 2020 event later this month.
A Tuesday morning report by Bloomberg claims that the availability of hardware isn’t expected to happen until 2021. The report also notes that the ARM Mac will be based on TSMC’s 5nm chip fabrication process. Apple is said to be working on at least three of its own processors for the Mac, with the first based on a variant of the A14.
Tuesday’s report is just the latest in a series of rumors about Mac’s alleged ARM Mac. In March, Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said an ARM-based Mac would debut as early as 2021. Meanwhile, an April Bloomberg report said Apple would release at least one Mac powered by a customer Apple-designed ARM-based processor by 2021.
With a move to ARM processors, Apple will be able to customize its processors to work the best with the Mac’s unique hardware and software. While eventually the entire Mac lineup would be powered by ARM processors, the processor will likely debut on consumer-level hardware, such as the MacBook Air or possibly the Mac mini.
Although the move to ARM would mean great benefits for Apple, it would also have its disadvantages, such as the loss of the ability for Macs to run Intel-based operating systems, such as Windows. While there is an ARM version of Windows available, it isn’t clear if Apple would allow users to install it on their Macs, or if Microsoft would make it available for ARM Macs.
As is normal with rumors of this type, nothing is set in stone, and the timing of any move to ARM for Macs could change, if it happens at all.