Apple’s move to ARM-based Macs is possible because most users want power more than compatibility

William Gallagher for AppleInsider:

Twenty-five years ago, I was features editor on PC Direct and had a monthly column in Macworld UK about working with both Macs and PCs. It was about how to read PC floppies, how to work with people when you’re on the Mac and they’re on Windows. Hand on heart, it’s difficult to remember now what it was about because it’s a quarter of a century ago and none of it is needed anymore…

This need for Windows compatibility has gone from when there was enough interest and plenty enough to say that I had many months employment, to now when Windows and Boot Camp is a tool for specialist users like AppleInsider readers… In all likelihood, Apple is going to move away from Intel to using ARM processors in the Mac. You can expect that it will start soon with the MacBook, and you can bet that it won’t happen with the Mac Pro for many years.

When the first ARM-based MacBook comes out, few buyers in the target market are going to notice because few will need to… In the end, Apple will do what it has always done and make the devices that will sell. It’s just that today, Apple is a juggernaut that can decide its own fate and not bother with any compatibility that it doesn’t want to.

MacDailyNews Take: Amen! The days of having to kowtow to inferior, derivative platforms in order to communicate with fools who make bad choices are long over!

Bring on the new Apple-designed, ARM-based Macs!

Apple has been, for years, building strength in the enterprise via BYOD and the rise of mobile which Apple ushered in with iPhone and iPad. “Compatibility with Windows” is not nearly as important today as it was even a few years ago… We expect to see Apple begin the ARM-based Mac transition with products like the MacBook and work their way up from there as the apps are brought over to ARM via Xcode and as the rest of the world continues to throw off the Microsoft Windows shackles into which they stupidly climbed so many years ago, lured, wrongly, solely by Windows PC sticker prices.MacDailyNews, June 19, 2019

We’ve been thinking about and anticipating this for a long time now:

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

39 Comments

        1. For performance laptops and desktops, THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE TO ARM. When doing equivalent calculations, ARM isn’t even more battery efficient. Apple has done a great job optimizing its chips for low performance mobile devices but come on, look what a real Mac Pro can do. Intel chips offer BOTH power and compatibility. Abandon that and watch Apple become a true one trick pony.

          You can stop scouring the internet for these bulls!t ARM fanboy stories now MDN.

          1. “For performance laptops and desktops” there is no “blah, blah, blah”.

            There is obviously an advantage to ARM since you are typing your post on an iPad.

            The future says there is not advantage to Intel. Fight that all you wan’t but hardware compatibility is the buggy whip of the first half of this century.

          2. Yeah, but Intel is WAAAAAY too slow in the mobile game. If they were able to reliably increase performance in the mobile space in a way that companies could COUNT on, then there wouldn’t be an ARM desktop discussions.

            For Apple, the one HUGE advantage to ARM is that every year, Apple can release a new ARM processor that improves on the performance of the last… like clockwork, with 2, 3, 4 year delays.

  1. Arm, Intel, Motorola. Apple will always be ‘compatible’ in its software and in the age of the true fruition of the Internet Superhighway which is occurring right under your noses, who makes the processor really doesn’t matter.

    Apple sell a solution, OS/X which addresses peoples needs. In an age where information is ubiquitous in spite of platform, why would you think a processor would really matter all that much. Especially to Apple which will dump unnecessary technology in a heartbeat.

    If you need windows, but a cheap clone. The world is becoming compatible through the internet.

  2. I need compatibility because Adobe won’t sell me Flash.

    I’ve paid repeatedly for drawing tools that haven’t changed since the 1990’s (including the bugs), but for some reason exist nowhere else.

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