Apple A-series-powered Mac idea boosted as ARM claims its chips can out-perform Intel

“It’s long been rumored that Apple is working on Macs powered by custom-designed ARM CPUs, moving away from Intel ones,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac.

“That idea gets a big boost today as ARM claims that its upcoming CPUs will out-perform Intel ones,” Lovejoy reports. “ARM has presented its roadmap for future CPUs, promising to boost performance by more than 15% each year between now and 2020. It says this trajectory will ‘surpass Moore’s law’ …and a graph created by ARM shows it outperforming Intel chips by 2020.”

“Apple, for its iPhones and iPads, designs its own custom chips based on ARM’s technology, and is able to maximize performance thanks to tight integration of hardware and software,” Lovejoy reports. “That’s an approach it can also take with Macs, potentially squeezing out even more real-life performance than ARM has indicated.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Something wicked this way comes!

As we wrote back in January 2015:

There is no reason why Apple could not offer both A-series-powered Macs and Intel-based Macs. The two are not mutually exclusive…

iOS devices and OS X Macs inevitably are going to grow closer over time, not just in hardware, but in software, too:

Think code convergence (more so than today) with UI modifications per device. A unified underlying codebase for Intel, Apple A-series, and, in Apple’s labs, likely other chips, too (just in case). This would allow for a single App Store for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users that features a mix of apps: Some that are touch-only, some that are Mac-only, and some that are universal (can run on both traditional notebooks and desktops as well as on multi-touch computers like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and – pretty please, Apple – Apple TV). Don’t be surprised to see Apple A-series-powered Macs, either.MacDailyNews Take, January 9, 2014

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

Did Apple just show its hand on future low-end, A-series-powered MacBooks? – July 13, 2018
How Apple might approach an ARM-based Mac – May 30, 2018
Pegatron said to assemble Apple’s upcoming ‘ARM-based MacBook’ codenamed ‘Star’ – May 29, 2018
Intel 10nm Cannon Lake delays push MacBook Pro with potential 32GB RAM into 2019 – April 27, 2018
Why the next Mac processor transition won’t be like the last two – April 4, 2018
Apple’s ‘Kalamata’ project will move Macs from Intel to Apple A-series processors – April 2, 2018
Apple plans on dumping Intel for its own chips in Macs as early as 2020 – April 2, 2018
Apple is working to unite iOS and macOS; will they standardize their chip platform next? – December 21, 2017
Why Apple would want to unify iOS and Mac apps in 2018 – December 20, 2017
Apple to provide tool for developers build cross-platform apps that run on iOS and macOS in 2018 – December 20, 2017
The once and future OS for Apple – December 8, 2017
Apple ships more microprocessors than Intel – October 2, 2017
Apple embarrasses Intel – June 14, 2017
Apple developing new chip for Macintosh in test of Intel independence – February 1, 2017
Apple’s A10 Fusion chip ‘blows away the competition,’ could easily power MacBook Air – Linley Group – October 21, 2016


  1. If you caught NVidias keynote at Siggraph this week, you’ll know what thelonius is talking about. AMD GPU’s are TRASH. and apple keeps using them… TRASH BEGETS TRASH.

    nvidia just jumped 10 years ahead of every other GPU maker out there.

    1. I really don’t understand why Apple sticks with AMD especially when NVidia chips have better thermal properties. Apple’s thin desktop cases deserve GPUs that put out less heat for the same amount of power. I think I’d heard that Apple sticks with AMD GPUs because they’re open source or something. I think Apple is making a mistake going strictly with AMD but, I’m not in a position to criticize Apple’s choices if I don’t know what’s involved in their choice.

  2. I would think an ARM chip could certainly match an Intel i5 processor but not those quad-core i7 and i9 processors. I’d like to see Apple put ARM chips in their low-end laptops, but not any of the desktops.

  3. I feel very conflicted about an Arm based Mac. Of course it would be great if Arm can provide higher performance with lowered power consumption, but I will really miss virtualization and high compatibility with other operating systems.

  4. There is no reason why Apple can’t do this. But I would move causionly. First I would try the MacBook Air and the MacBooks. Watch how they do then move on to the MacBook Pros. Then do the MacMini. As far as the iMacs I would offer both. Ones with the A chip and ones with Intel. The new Mac Pro they should stay on course with the high end Intel chips

  5. The performance increase they’re talking about could well be where Apple is now. In this case, this would be ARM’s reference designs (which Apple doesn’t use) catching up to Apple again.

    Apple took the ARM instruction set into a 64-bit only direction WELL before ARM released a 64-bit only reference design.

  6. Apple had such a hard time getting proper coded apps for powerpc, so many poor ports was what we got a lot of. When an app was properly coded for powerpc it was a great thing but lots weren’t. I hope xcode is In use with big devs enough to make an arm based mac more just a Web browser and icloud box

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