Apple strongly considering ARM-powered Macs with ‘large format’ Magic Trackpads in keyboards

“Apple’s hardware cycles have been become anticipated events throughout the years. As the company is set to release a series of refreshed lines like the Macs, new information suggest that Apple wants to explore more chipsets for its computer line,” Precious Silva reports for The International Business Times. “According to reports, iMac, MacBook Pro and even products like the iPad and iPhone may be based on ARM processors.”

MacDailyNews Note: Uh, iPad and iPhone have always been based on ARM processors.

MacBidouille cited a reliable source hinting at Apple’s interest in switching processors. According to the French site, Apple has been looking into releasing ARM-powered Macs that will also come with a ‘large format’ Magic Trackpad,” Silva reports. “The new magic pad will be incorporated in the keyboard.”

” Apple has developed a number of prototype machines running on a ARM equivalent of the OS X. More importantly, the machines are supposedly operating through a number of ARM CPUs with each CPU featuring multiple cores,” Silva reports. “Particularly, Apple has reportedly created an iMac desktop featuring four or 64-bit quad-core CPUs. The iMac mini [sic] prototype, on other hand, operates on four cores. Additionally, the report also claimed that Apple has created a 13-inch MacBook running on 64-bit quad-core ARM chips.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple: ARM-based Macs are a fantasy (for now) – May 30, 2014
Jeffries: Apple prepping Apple ‘A’ series ARM-based Macs – May 27, 2014


    1. Apple could probably go ARM this year if they wanted to. It’s all about their relationship with Intel though. The companies are reportedly “growing closer.”

      1. If Apple are making ARM prototype Macs to leverage Intel chip prices or to boot-kick Intel into making faster processors, Good On Them!

        – But dumping x86 CPUs at this point by Apple would be a catastrophic MESS and developers would be up in ARMs, so to speak.

        – Plus the ARMs are NOT fast enough to compete with x86 so far. And I could rattle on all day about this subject but I am soooo tired of this impossible (or nearly so) rumor. Hand me my coffee please. Mmm.

        Please don’t write me to argue my points. I don’t care.

    2. Yeah. I can’t help but rerun this in my mind delivered by some Hong Kong beauty. It’s more about the girl than actual facts.
      Maybe I watch too much international news via satellite? It’s more like ‘glamour’News.

    3. Punctuation is key 🙂

      Apple could roll out ARM based systems quite easily.

      As for being underpowered? Think along these ones. . .

      Apple has made dual CPU machines for years. Why would an ARM based machine need only 1 CPU?

      ARM chips are significantly smaller than traditional desktop CPUs, so more ARM chips could be integrated into the same space as one or current X86 CPUs on motherboards.

      The Apple A7 chip has the M7 coprocessor. Successfully mount say for example, 8 A7 & M7 ARM chips onto one system and you have significant processing capability at a fraction of the cost of one Intel CPU.

      It’s food for thought.

    1. Editorial journalism means that usually there is somebody between the writer and the reader

      In this case we see the raw intent of the writer and can therefore discount anything however massage they produce in the future

      In this case I say let it slip that this person is a fool and then stop posting it on MDN

      oh yeah they need hits too…

  1. This won’t happen. Tim Cook is not going to stand in front of everyone and say here is your new Mac. It’s slower, and less capable but you can save 200 bucks. Oh, and Microsoft and Adobe have to rewrite their programs and we expect those in 2017……

    1. Never say never… Apple has new products in the pipeline and some of them may be designed from the start for the ARM processors. They don’t have to be OSX or iOS compatible.

      But having said that, I would love to see Apple produce a table for developing countries (aka One Laptop Per Child). Those would not have to be compatible with existing OSX or iOS, but could still be developed with Xcode and cross compiled.

      We will just have to wait and see what Apple decides to announce this next week.

    2. I agree. Unless you’re looking for something like a Chromebook (“Don’t get Scroogled!”), ARMs simply lack the real horsepower you want in a true Mac. ARM processors are all about low power; not performance. That’s not going to change any time soon.

  2. @ iZune

    When people by an iPod Nano they they are not getting an iPod Touch. When you buy an iPhone 5c you know you are not getting a 5s.

    Most people realize that if they buy a product for $200 – $300 less than another that they are not getting the same thing.

    If they should come out with an ARM based mac it will be differentiated.

    Besides, the A7 is approaching low end laptop processors in speed.

    You may want to check out this article – speculations on the A8.

    1. Those are some good thoughts. Here is what they could do easily. An Apple tv like iDevice ($100) with an amazing keyboard/magic trackpad device ($100) or use what you have. Bring your own monitor/tv and of course your iPad, iPhone, etc. Place the your iPhone/iPad anywhere near the apple tv iDevice and it connects wirelessly etc. So basically we can do almost all of this now but the difference will be the apps. Think Pixelmator not Photoshop, Hype not Dreamweaver etc. Basic iOS app would use iCloud for storage and could launch an improved version of your apps that you have on your iPhone. For $100 that would make a pretty compelling desktop for a lot of people. And it would help sell another boat load of iPhone/iPads/iPods at a high selling price.

  3. This isn’t happening.

    ARM is a long way away from Intel in terms of chips for laptops and desktops.

    Sure, a low-end laptop could use ARM instead of Intel, but there’s no real advantage to doing so as the low-end laptop chips from Intel aren’t significantly more expensive.

    Also, think about what you’d be getting. Think Chromebook.

    All Windows software that you can run in a variety of ways on a MacBook Air (or greater), remove that forever.

    All OS X software that you currently own. Remove that for now.

    As for iOS software, most likely depending upon implementation, won’t run at all, but definitely none would be optimized for it. So pretty much remove all of that for now.

    “Hey, Apple has successfully transitioned chip lines before”

    True 68K->PPC->x86. The key to each of those was that the new chips were significantly more powerful than the previous ones such that they could do emulation at a reasonable level. Now imagine emulation at a painfully slower speed.

    Also, Apple transitioned their full Mac product lines, so developers had incentive to write for the new chips and disincentive to continue writing for the old chips.

    Now imagine that a small fraction of the platform is going to make a transition to a new, slower chip. OS X developers won’t have the same incentive to port to it. iOS developers will have an easier time porting, but only a fraction of those apps even make sense on a laptop or desktop.

    Again, think Chromebooks.

    If anything, expect Intel to be more involved with the chips that go into iOS devices. Intel admitted that they misread the market when Jobs approached them requesting chips for the original iPhone. They’ve started course correcting, but it’s a very enormous ship.

  4. “The new magic pad will be incorporated in the keyboard.”

    WTF does that mean. How would that be useable. When would you ever want a trackpad among the keys? This article makes no sense. But then, I was wrong about Apple buying beats. It seems like a ludicrous price for something Apple could replicate much more cheaply.

  5. Not interested.

    Intel powered Macs are the best computers bar none. You can run about anything on them with multiple operating systems. It’s the best vision of a personal computer ever delivered in my opinion.

    I have no desire lose a ton of functionality and raw number crunching power just for the sake of having an ARM propcessor.

  6. Compatibility is the biggest obstacle.
    You can’t just throw in any chip processor and think it will work with OSX. Another thing to consider is cross compatibility that the Intel processor has currently. That is a big asset, and would that work with the ARM processor? And no Apple is not going to run Macs on IOS period.

    1. You can bet they have a working prototype, and that a port of OS X is running on it. They’d be crazy not to. They had an Intel port up and running long before they decided to make the switch.

      But that doesn’t mean it’s even close to being a real product. It just means they are doing their jobs.

  7. Ignorant Article.

    According to reports, iMac, MacBook Pro…

    NO, they won’t. Total bullshit. How ‘Precious’.

    And no, I’m not going to argue about it. We’ve been over this ad nauseam around here.

    and even products like the iPad and iPhone may be based on ARM processors.

    Oh Wow. This dummy is techno illiterate. How ‘Precious’.

    Where does the industry get these people, and WHY do they pay them??? Huh Business Times? Huh? ❓ 😯 😳 😯 ❓

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