Apple Diversifies Chip Orders for iOS Device and Apple Watch Amid Predictions of ARM Macs

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has frequently offered accurate information on Apple's product plans based on supply chain information, has released a new report outlining his expectations for the company's chips over the next several years. Kuo highlights a diversified supplier lineup for Apple's A-series chips used in its iOS devices, with TSMC, Samsung, and GlobalFoundries all contributing to production.

Kuo sees the 2015 chip breakdown with the A9 chip destined for this year's iPhones being shared by Samsung and GlobalFoundries, while TSMC handles the A9X that would be used in iPad models. That split is projected to flip in 2016, with TSMC handling the A10 iPhone chips and Samsung being responsible for A10X iPad chips.

kuo_chip_suppliers_2015_2016
Perhaps most enticingly, Kuo projects that Apple could begin launching ARM-based Macs in the next year or two based on its custom chip designs.

Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the assumption that Apple’s self-developed AP performs at a level between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 and is good enough for Mac. Using self- developed AP can help Apple better control the timing of Mac launches and Mac product features.

Use of A-series chips in Macs would certainly be limited to lower-end devices at first, but Apple's emphasis on controlling its supply chain and the improving performance of Apple's A-series ARM chips compared to low-end Intel chips could lead to a shift in the coming years.

Kuo also looks at the Apple Watch, where Samsung has been reported to be handling the primary portion of Apple's custom "S1" chip for the upcoming smartwatch. He believes, however, that TSMC will take over responsibility in 2016 for the S2 in the second-generation Apple Watch.

Kuo certainly does not have a perfect track record with his claims over the years, but he is reliable enough that his predictions are followed closely. Given muddled rumors of Apple's chip partnerships for future devices, it will be interesting to watch how these supplier deals play out over time.

Top Rated Comments

maflynn Avatar
121 months ago
I'm sorry but once they stop making Intel mac, is the day I stop buying them :(

I think its a really bad idea to drop x86 platform, I can only see bad things from this shift including a more locking down of OS X. Think walled garden for OS X as well.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MarkusL Avatar
121 months ago
Oh, wow. I thought $1000 for a dual-core i7 Mac mini was ridiculous. Can't wait until I get to buy a $500 to $1000 Mac mini with "between Atom and i3" performance.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roadbloc Avatar
121 months ago
Apple can forget about another Mac purchase off me if they switch to ARM.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oldmacs Avatar
121 months ago
I still dont get why people want to see ARM based Macs. Or the prediction at the end of the decade. Why? I only see headaches with this idea.

Agreed 100 percent. Intel is the reason Macs gained so much marketshare. (Well one of the reasons). Having gone through the other transitions (68K to PPC), (OS9 to OSX), (PPC to Intel), its a nightmare and only worthwhile if there are significant benefits which I really really don't see. Loss of Windows compatibility, loss of program compatibility and the list goes on and on.

A move to ARM would be a form over function move, to further slim down computers which are slim enough.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bennibeef Avatar
121 months ago
I still dont get why people want to see ARM based Macs. Or the prediction at the end of the decade. Why? I only see headaches with this idea.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NYC Matt Avatar
121 months ago
Why does anyone listen to Kuo anymore?

This guy has a horrible track record. Why, why, why does MacRumors continue to post his nonsense?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...