Apple ARM-based Macs are a fantasy (for now)

“Over the past couple of days, rumors have been circling around the web that Apple (AAPL) is looking into launching new iMac, Macbook and Mac Mini models utilizing quad-core ARM (ARMH) processors,” Dan Naumov writes for Seeking Alpha.

“A couple of years ago it was revealed that a lone Apple engineer was maintaining an x86 version of MacOS X since 2000 in total secrecy, until eventually more manpower was put behind the project and Apple finally shipped its first Intel Macs in 2005,” Naumov writes. “Many people today seem to believe that history is about to repeat itself and that Apple is on the verge of starting the migration of its Mac computers away from Intel (INTC) chips. I am yet to see a single rational explanation as to ‘Why?’ and there are several things worth noting that make this scenario extremely unlikely to unfold in the near term.”

“Apple very likely learned from its past and there is little doubt in my mind that a secret ‘MacOS X on ARM’ project does in fact exist as a potential backup plan,” Naumov writes. “That’s, however, a backup plan; don’t expect ARM-based Macs to be launching any time soon.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Two OSs being written in the same language is NOT the same as sharing code. Next you guys are gonna claim that Linux and OSX are the same. I don’t doubt that there is some code convergence happening between OSX and iOS, and this will increase. However, they do not run from the same code base.

  2. It would be a piece of cake for Apple to generate MacOSX on ARM (if they are not already actively doing so). Because XCode can generate both ARM and X86 code. All they need to do is run the proper libraries through XCode with different settings. You can even define a project that will generate apps that run on both OSX an iOS. Also, may frameworks are available for both OSX an iOS. The first obvious difference, of course, is that the GUI frameworks are different. These are just libraries, mind you. The other thing is different memory management. This is partly a matter of different system settings (just like OSX server IS OS client + different settings + a few utilities), but also of, again, appropriate library frameworks. The common ground between iOS and OSX is vastly more than just the underlying Darwin base OS. Yet another thing is that some software layers close to the hardware are also different.
    The fact that there doesn’t seem to be a file system in iOS is just appearance, as everybody who has jailbroken an iOS device can testify. iOS just dumbs down (disables) some OSX features.
    Frankly, I don’t understand the relentless claims in this thread that OSX and iOS are so different.

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