Apple will inevitably drop Intel for their own A-series processors in the Mac

“Some things in life are just inevitable,” E. Werner Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “Concerning Apple and its Mac computers, at some point it is inevitable that the company will grow tired of Intel’s main CPU pricing, known in the industry as the ‘Intel tax.’ The Intel tax is a bitter pill for computer makers to swallow, as Intel’s gross margins can reach upwards of 80% for their CPUs.”

“Compared to OS X devices, iOS devices pricing has remained very consistent over time. That can not be said for Macs,” Reschke writes. “Roughly every six months any given Mac model receives a processor update and the price goes up or down by $100. The reason is simple: Intel.”

“How long will Apple allow Intel to dictate their Mac upgrade cycles and prices on its OS X products?” Reschke writes. “Recent rumors are beginning to point to the inevitable – Apple will turn to its own ARM based A-Series processors for Macs… It is inevitable that Apple will eventually leave Intel for its own class of processors.”

Read more in the full article here.

45 Comments

    1. True; Intel has a monopoly on the best manufacturing norms for CPUs, and it will not share it with Apple: difference 22 nm versus 28 nm is huge. There is no way to create giant CPUs of high-end Intel class without it being worse simply because of manufacturing.

      There is no need to make CPU just for sake of making CPU. If you can not make it better than others — or even just as good, Apple will not do it.

  1. If and when they change they will gain and loose industry advantages. Frankly, most people, were I work, not only want Mac OS, they also want to put Windows on it, for Microsoft Outlook, and a myriad of other Windows only functions that third parties provide. Windows on the Mac was a good entry point for non-Mac users. If you want to increase the Mac user base, you need to bring them in from some where and when you offer no compromises in switching, they come in droves.

    People will begin to think twice, if Apple drops Intel and Windows compatibility. I am not saying Windows is better, but we are talking just about the mission of converting users.

    1. New ARM MacBooks will be about pulling in new Apple users, not downshifting existing ones. The ARM Macs will form a new lower tier under Intel Macs. Cheaper Macs for the masses, but retaining the traditional Apple margins and quality. Apple even gets greater design control out of it.

      There are very few ways Apple can suck up another huge percentage of computing profits, but this is an easy one. Intel, Microsoft and their OEMs will lose massive profits and marketshare when Apple does this. Apple, and its existing users, will only gain from wider Mac OS adoption.

    2. Your argument is crap. Just because most people where you work want Windows on their Macs does, this does not mean that everyone is the same. Most of the Windows to Mac switchers that I know are happy to ditch Windows in its entirety. They don’t hold on to the security blanket of Windows installed on their Mac. This happened to some extent early on when Apple first moved to Intel, but it’s not as prevalent today. Mostly, this is done out of ignorance. There is nothing useful that Windows PCs can do that a Mac can’t.

      1. Unfortunately, you don’t know what you are talking about. I bought my first AII in 1980 and have owned almost every model since. I still have 2 AIIs and an AIII. There is a Mini, a 2007 MBP, and a 2014 MBP running in my household.

        Currently, I run SolidWorks CAD, a datalogger program, and a CNC program that are exclusively Windows. They are essential to my business.

        That is the rub. Some critical Windows only programs are what requires BootCamp & Parallels.

        1. Unfortunately, you made more erroneous assumptions. FYI.. I don’t give a damn how long you you’ve been using Apple computers, or how many you’ve owned. I could hold up my long list of Apple products too, but that doesn’t accomplish anything useful. I know Solidworks very well and I know it well enough to always suggest to my customers that they not run it on a Mac via Bootcamp. The reason being that Solidworks is very finicky about the graphics cards that it supports. It’s best to equip a system with the suggested graphics cards. If you try to run Solidworks through virtualization, you won’t be able get the best performance. My argument was against a lot of peoples’ assumption that they must keep Windows around. Obviously, you feel very strongly about this, but I feel that your intent when you replied to me was to try and smack me down like I’m some idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You were wrong. Have a great weekend. I’m done talking about this.

  2. The reality is that apple have OSX builds for arm already running. When they will pull the trigger is another question.
    I personally rely on being able to run windows. It allows me to work from home without having to have a separate laptop. It also allows me to justify buying a new mac every 3 years.
    Mac unit sales took off with the switch to intel. It is hard to predict if they would lose traction by not having windows compatibility.

      1. Gollum: It’s lose you’re going for (opposite of win), not loose. Loose is the condition your pants are when you go on a diet, or the way your sister acts after she’s had a few too many.

    1. They won’t drop Intel Macs when they do this. They didn’t drop MacBook Pro’s when they came out with MacBook Airs, even though most people are fine with Air’s.

      Most people don’t need Windows, but Apple understands that its high end users are important even if they are a relatively small group. Their commitment to the Mac Pro is a good indicator of this.

        1. Perhaps a long time from now, but as long as the majority of PCs in business run Windows, Apple will want to continue offering Windows-compatible Macs for those who want a Mac but have to run some things in Windows. These are important gateway users for Apple.

  3. Have any of these people actually used both OS X and iOS?

    Great gains have been made with ARM — kudos to Apple. But the performance gap remains HUGE. I suppose they could offer desktop ARM processors that are larger and use more power to gain further on Intel processors. But with the current state of ARM, I certainly wouldn’t be buying an ARM Mac.

    1. Does anyone doubt that Apple is already experimenting with high end ARM chips? But like the switch to Intel Macs and 64-bit A-chips, they won’t say a word about it until they have a product ready.

  4. The issue as I see it is, whether Parallels and Vmware could do the emulation for an A-Series chip to do Windows without a loss of performance over having an Intel Chip.. That seems unlikely, unless the Apple’s chips are significantly more efficient.

  5. The day my MacBook Pro goes ARM is likely the day I buy up a lot of used Intel MB Pros so I can run native Windows, which I must do for paying work.

    Apple may be many things, but they are not STUPID. No ARM chips on the pro products will ever be done as far as I can see.

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