Steve Jobs predicted the Mac’s move from Intel to ARM processors

“The Mac shifting to ARM may come as soon as a full decade after Steve Jobs died,” William Gallagher writes for AppleInsider. “Yet, as well as championing and managing the Intel move in the 2000s, he also considered these major computer hardware architecture changes to be essential every decade or so.”

“Even Intel expects that Apple will move away from its processors and instead base Macs on ARM chips,” Gallagher writes. “And the odds are that Apple will pull it off. That’s because it’s been here before. While Windows, slightly oversimplifying this, has always just run on successive generations of X86 processors, the Mac has made major moves.”

“If Apple moves to ARM in, say, 2020, then that will be its third major move in 26 years. Each time it has made the move for the same reasons and it has worked through the same processes to manage it,” Gallagher writes. “Back in 1988, Steve Jobs predicted something of the sort. He wasn’t talking solely about Apple and his timing was a little off, but he claimed that all computer architectures, all computer systems, have a ten-year life.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple seems to be able to manage such Herculean endeavors as Mac brain transplants every decade and make them relatively seamless for Mac users.

Intel execs believe that Apple’s ARM-based Macs could come as soon as 2020 – February 21, 2019
Apple’s Project Marzipan could mean big things for the future of the Macintosh – February 20, 2019
Apple iPad Pro’s A12X chip has no real rivals; it delivers performance unseen on Android tablets – November 1, 2018
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple A-series Macs coming in 2020 or 2021, Apple Car in 2023-2025 – October 17, 2018
MacBooks powered by Apple A-series chips are finally going to happen soon – September 18, 2018
Apple A-series-powered Mac idea boosted as ARM claims its chips can out-perform Intel – August 16, 2018
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. The computing spirits are conspiring against both of us. My main machine died, and I’m currently running my trashcan (which was supposed to be my real mini) as my main machine.

        But you’re right, I don’t like it. It may yet go into permanent bootcamp mode.

        But since I’m a customer, I’m entitled to opinion and critique, so you’re stuck with me.

      2. Oh no you can bet he won’t be able to drag himself away from here, indeed I suspect he has already moved away from the Mac assuming he was ever an owner. Its a disease for which there is no known cure, a hatred of others being different from the crowd. Its a sort of sexual experience for some … mostly those who have no other access to it.

        1. I will tell you exactly why I’m here.
          To counter the sycophantic pro-Apple spin.

          Much to my surprise, I found more objectivity than I expected.
          But there are those….

  1. Apple can run the table with processor design next cycle. Intel is stuck on a 14nm process with old, outdated architecture while Apple has surpassed Intel in various benchmarks -while not even trying – with 7nm processors that have substantial room for performance improvements should Apple put them in an enclosure with even a tiny fan (think 6 to 10 high-performance cores packaged in a enhanced A13 or even 5nm A14 SOC in the 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro)

    1. Hate to tell you, but ARM architecture is not at all competitive in performance nor cost for performance computing.

      MDN can hype energy efficient A chips for mobile devices all it wants, RISC is a fundamental drawback compared to CISC. Throwing more “blades” at it isn’t a solution either because then price competitiveness goes out the window along with size, thermal efficiency, etc. Then you have to consider no Mac software is optimized for dozens of processing cores. Apple has done a poor job incentivizing pro level software companies to make new software because Apple doesn’t make top power products and certainly not price competitive servers and workstations. Apples own servers are HP running Linux.

      When Apple starts using something other than Intel chips for its own business, then let’s talk. Until then, MDN rehashing a worn out bad idea is totally boring.

      1. ooh can’t wait to bring this one back to haunt you. Arm are very much heading to the high end computing sector with or without Apple jumping on board, so I suspect that they don’t recognise your propositions. But lets just let Time be the referee on this one for in the end talk is as cheap as chips.


        CISC vs RISC, DUH! CISC starts with a C which comes earlier in the alphabet than R. PLUS RISC sounds like Risk, and WHO LIKES THAT GAME?? NO ONE that’s who. By that logic, Apple will migrate to Doritos in 2020 because their chips are more delicious than ARM and Intel combined.

        There, just made a post that’s 100% more accurate than yours (especially since, you know, DORITOS).

        1. Sorry dude, Realist is correct as usual, and you are Wrong Again.

          Only in your twisted little world is a REDUCED instruction set superior.

          Riddle me this. To save complexity and raise efficiency of your native language, let’s reduce the number of letter in the English language from 26 to 18.

          I don’t care how awesome your new efficient 18 bit language processor is, you aren’t going to convince anyone to start talking your newfangled jive. If you do, they’ll have massive problems working around the inevitable conflicts that happen in translation.

          Enjoy your DRTS.

    2. You are reading too much into those geometry numbers. TSMC is playing marketing games.
      TSMC’s “7nm” geometry actually gives fewer transistors per mm^2 than Intel’s 10nm geometry. How does a smaller geometry not yield more transistors per mm^2? Because TSMC is talking out their asses.
      TSMC’s “7nm” geometry would be called something like “12+nm” at Intel.
      This fact combined with the additional fact that ARM RISC processors do less work per cycle than Intel CISC processors means that ARM is still not in the ballpark with Intel processors when it comes to performance.

      1. But also remember the bubble issues in longer pipelines and the major flaw in Intels predictive branching algorithms. I believe something completely new is needed to get to the next computing levels RISC vs CISC will bee a thing of the past, eventually.

    1. Now that sends a bit of a chill down my spine as wonderful as it sounds. I go back far enough to remember when the IT mob determined you could do similar with Power PC replacing Motorola as a relatively simple transplant.

      The resulting pieces of junk would lock up every few minutes or so in that particular company I experienced it as a freelancer, though we as designers got the stick for taking so long in actually producing any work as a result. Unsurprisingly what was once a top creative company went bust a few years later. As I say a chill down my spine.

  2. I’m not a computer scientist — and I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night — but if the following is possible, do it:
    Portables = ARM chips
    Desktops = Intel x86
    The best of both worlds given the strengths of each processor.

  3. The biggest complaint I have with Apple computers is that everything is soldered down.

    I miss the days when you could freely expand the storage or RAM without paying the insanely high price that Apple charges for it when you configure the machine.

    My mid-2009 MacBook Pro has gone through numerous upgrades… and if it hadn’t, I would’ve been forced to retire it years ago…

    Being forced to replace a machine is good for Apple of course, but terrible for consumers when the machines cost well over $1,000 to start with

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