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

(View all)
Avatar
74 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)
Avatar
74 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)
Avatar
74 months ago
Apple can forget about another Mac purchase off me if they switch to ARM.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 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)
Avatar
74 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)
Avatar
74 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)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...