Intel Expecting Apple to Transition to Custom ARM-Based Chips Starting in 2020

Apple is planning to ditch Intel and transition to Mac chips starting in 2020, based on multiple rumors we've heard in the past from Bloomberg. Axios today confirmed Bloomberg's reporting and said that multiple sources have suggested Apple will transition to custom ARM-based chips next year.

According to Axios, developers and Intel officials are expecting Apple to begin using ARM-based chips in 2020.


The move to ARM-based chips is said to be part of Apple's effort to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work together and run the same apps. Bloomberg earlier this week said that by 2021, Apple wants developers to be able to create one app that will work on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple's transition to a single app for all devices has already begun. Last year, Apple ported several of its iOS apps, such as Voice Memos, Stocks, and Home, to macOS. This year, Apple plans to let developers transition iPad apps to macOS, and in 2020, that will include iPhone apps. In 2021, then, developers will be able to make just one app that users can download on any of Apple's platforms.

This transition will greatly increase the number of Mac apps available, and it will cut down on the amount of work developers have to put in to create a Mac app. It will also better unify Apple's operating systems across all of its devices.

There have been rumors about Apple transitioning to ARM-based Macs for years now, and they have ramped up given the many Intel chip delays that have resulted in subsequent delays for Mac products. With its own ARM-based chips, Apple will not be tied to Intel's chip release cycles.

Apple already makes its own A-series chips for the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌, and there are also custom Apple chips in recent Macs -- the T2. The T2 chip, in the iMac Pro and 2018 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models, integrates several components including the system management controller, image signal processor, SSD controller, and a Secure Enclave with a hardware-based encryption engine. It powers the Touch Bar in the ‌MacBook Pro‌ and the Touch ID feature in the ‌MacBook Pro‌ and ‌MacBook Air‌.

Apple is a major Intel customer, responsible for approximately five percent of Intel's annual revenue, so the transition to ARM-based chips will be a major blow for Intel, but a win for customers in the long run. Apple's modern A-series chips for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ are already more powerful than many Intel chips on the market.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
15 months ago
Well-I guess that settles it. Apple was nice for decade and a half, but an ARM will never be an i7.
Score: 89 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
This will be a disaster. The virtual machines that I run are going to crawl under any kind of emulator that Apple produces, and I'm not all that sure they'll even throw us that bone. Apple has been giving the Mac short shrift for years now and this puts the final nail in the coffin.
Score: 87 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Ah now the fan boys are out of the way. Those of us who really use our Mac's dread the day we can't have an intel or AMD chip in our machines. The question is this a move to dumb down the Mac line or remove it entirely....
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
The mention of the T2 chip does not fill me with optimism for this move forward...
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Well if this is true then I dearly hope Apple can pull it off.

I am old and ugly enough to remember the transition to Intel from PPC; now that was a great move. No question.
But, Apple's base was far smaller… and even then it took a lot of heartbreak.

Not really looking forward to the "new" Rosetta as companies suck teeth while deciding if they are porting it all over.

Of course there was BootCamp — which was great — but this time round?

Anyway… deep breaths and let's see if Apple come up with some magic.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
My only concern with this is will this change still allow us to run Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop on ARM based Macs?
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...