Apple just got even more serious about killing Intel on Macs

Phillip Tracyfor LAPTOP Magazine:

Apple just made a big move toward ditching Intel and outfitting its laptops with custom chips. Per a Bloomberg report, the Cupertino giant hired a lead engineer from ARM, the company that designs and licenses processors.

In May, Apple reportedly hired Mark Filippo, a lead architect behind the chips that power most of the world’s smartphones and tablets, including the Cortex-A76, which was used in Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 SoC… Bloomberg suspects Filippo will slot into a position left open when Gerard Williams III, the head architect for chips in the iPhone and iPad, left the company. Apple doesn’t use Arm’s chip designs, but it does employ the company’s instruction set, which forms the basis of its internal processors.

The move would let Apple have more control over its laptops while enabling Macs, iPhones and iPads to work more seamlessly together. We’ve seen the power of Apple’s in-house A-series chips in the latest iPads and iPhones. The A12X Bionic chip in the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro blew away the competition in our synthetic benchmark tests and even outpaced many premium laptops outfitted with Core i7 CPUs, including the Dell XPS 13.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring on the new Apple-powered 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


  1. “… Compatibility with Windows” is not nearly as important today as it was even a few years ago…” Your words to God’s ears as they say, but I just don’t see this happening.

    Apple’s headway into Enterprise via BYOD Halo effect is overblown. Yes, people are packing iPhones, but the Killer apps there are email, text, and sometimes calendar. Many industries still run large, legacy, entrenched Windows only apps. Calling such systems “apps” is like calling an aircraft carrier a dingy as well.

    Prior to moving to Intel, Apple was seen by IT departments as proprietary, isolated, expensive, boutique, consumer, artist technology. Then, when you could just open a Window and run the business applications needed, IT organizations relaxed. In fact, having a full blown replacement image tucked away on the local Mac drive was kind of a plus.

    Apple has made headway into the enterprise I believe far more because of cloud based services replacing old enterprise systems. Hopefully that will mitigate some incompatibility issues. As long as the Mac can run a compatible version of CHROME.

  2. Let’s say they save $150 by switching away from Intel on entry-level Macbooks and Airs.

    Raise your hand if you believe even half of those savings will be passed to consumers. Thought so.

    So those who want a Mac but can’t rightfully afford the Macbook Pro pay maybe $50 less than they would now, lose Intel compatibility, and still have to pay an outrageous $200 to get more than 128 GB storage and another $200 for an 8GB RAM bump.

  3. MDN despises all things Bloomberg until they can cherry pick an opinion piece in a brazen attempt to bolster MDN’s nonsensical anti-Intel political bent.
    Intel, a US manufacturer, would normally be supported by a MAGAhead. Instead MDN re-labels licensed ARM chip architecture that is manufactured by Samsung (S. Korea) and Taiwan Semiconductor (guess where they are located) as “Apple Powered”.

    Well if Apple wants to shoot for 5% market share, this is a good way to do it. Apple should be focused on rounding out its horribly convoluted product lines and make the Mac more powerful AND more compatible, not less.

    I would very much like the blind ARM fans to bring forth data showing what percentage of Mac users don’t have any Windows or Linux stuff installed. Why would a developer NOT want to be able to use one computer in order to code for ALL platforms? Why would Apple want to kick SQL or Visual Studio users to the kerb?

    Here’s just one survey indicating that about 37% of people use both Mac and Windows; most people prefer Windows.

    Some comments there are insightful: “As a web developer I need something that has a sane (read: UNIX) development environment and can also run Photoshop, so pretty locked in.
    That said, the recent WSL developments in Windows could make it a serious competitor soon, especially with how little effort Apple devotes to macOS anymore.”

    Let’s remember that while Jobs took Macs into the modern era with a painful but necessary processor change, going the other way will be even MORE complicated because of the nasty little issues of trying to rewrite CISC code for a RISC chip. If you don’t understand this, or think it is easy, then think again. AT BEST, you would be resigning all non-Mac RISC programs, of which Apple itself has many, to a complete rewrite (not just recompiling) or force Apple to resurrect Virtual PC. Didn’t everyone here love Connectix Virtual PC? Didn’t you love the blazing performance? Share your story now!

    The sad reality is that because Apple has been so bad at attracting the best developers to the Mac platform over the last decade, many die hard Mac owners have had NO CHOICE but to start adopting Windows software. They can still use Mac hardware, but virtualization is absolutely necessary. The very existence of Boot Camp proves that Apple knows this too.

    On the Parallels website, they claim 7 million users.
    VMWare also claims millions of customers
    VirtualBox and Crossover also have significant customer bases.

    Apple: don’t break what isn’t broken. Fix your own hardware limitations rather than breaking x86-64 compatibility on any Mac.

    1. I forgot to mention — since Apple doesn’t seem to care about supporting legacy 32 bit Mac software, what would happen if Apple forked the Mac to introduce ARM Macs? Would legacy software users just stop updating their OS and Mac hardware as they wait for some 3rd party virtualization company to come up with a practical solution? Then what?

      AS MDN apparently forgot, Microsoft tried to do the cheap ARM based netbook thing, and the results predict exactly what would happen for the Mac. The dearth of new software for the ARM based surfaces ensured that it was dead from day one. If Apple went whole hog into ARM for all Macs, the drop in Mac sales, already a marginally healthy platform with only a small fraction of the software titles that x86 Windows users enjoy, could kill the Mac platform for good as software developers and legacy users stop updating their macOS and Mac hardware.

      Think twice before you say “compatibility doesn’t matter”. That means you are willing to lose people who do need or want compatibility to leave forever. With such a tiny market share as it is, Apple can’t afford to lose more Mac users. Apple needs to offer better Mac software and better hardware values with decent keyboards. ARM is the answer to a question NOBODY asked.

    2. Totally agree, except for the Maga Hat stuff. See there is hope for the world. If Apple sticks with Intel, and makes nice with nVidia, I’ll vote for Cory Booker. At the rate Trump is going the world will be all fixed by then anyway. Cory Booker’s significant other is hotter.

      Don’t want to live in the Apple Ghetto.

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