Apple will free the Mac by using their own chips – and supercharge it, too

For many years now, the rumors have swirled that Apple is developing ARM-based chips to power Macs, displacing Intel. The Mac maker is finally ready to formally announce those plans later this month at its annual WWDC developer conference.

Apple's MacBook
Apple’s MacBook
Evan Niu for The Motley Fool:

If this comes to pass, Apple will secure greater control over its product roadmaps, freeing itself from relying on a supplier that has been fumbling its launch of 10-nanometer chips. The company also stands to save billions of dollars per year.

Transitioning to in-house chips could yield estimated cost savings of $2 billion per year, according to Bernstein Research.

Over the past year, Apple has spent $148.1 billion in cost of sales related to hardware products, which would include things like components, with another $17.4 billion in R&D expenses. As such, $2 billion in annual savings is unlikely to move the needle much financially for the Cupertino tech giant. However, the strategic benefits of such a massive change would be far more valuable.

It’s worth remembering that Apple blamed Intel supply constraints a year ago when Mac revenue took a hit in the first quarter of 2019, underscoring the risks of relying too much on Chipzilla. The segment would have grown if it weren’t for those bottlenecks, CEO Tim Cook had said.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is creating their own Mac chips because such a move is integral to the company’s makeup, as established and taught by Steve Jobs:

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

37 Comments

    1. In addition, will my dozens of expensive software programs work, or will I have to spend thousands so Apple can save money and make more money at my expense…

      1. Probably not, BUT you’re not silly enough to actually replace your current system… you know, THE ONE THAT WORKS with one that might not work, right?

        1. I’ve been doing exactly what you “silly” alluded to for decades.

          My studio is a museum of Mac computers that all work going back to 1989 with MacIIfx.

          They all work, with several computers from every decade since, but the software and OS are frozen in time and all good…

          1. Then why ask the question
            “will my dozens of expensive software programs worK”?
            Yes, your dozens of programs will continue to work because it’s not like Apple is going to come confiscate your current systems when they release the new architecture.

    1. It’s not impossible. The machines will have to contain an Intel emulator of some sort (soft, firm, or hardware) in order to run existing Mac software. If the new CPUs are fast enough, they may be able to run Intel software (which includes Windows) at decent speed.

      1. If Rosetta is any guide, there will be some sort of emulation going on for a time. Saying that, support will only persist in current software versions for about 5 years or so.

      2. It’s fine with me if they can keep Wintel emulation, otherwise they will have halved their compatibility, and some of us do rely on it and don’t care for the PITA of separate computers. Very curious to see, and I’m glad I held off on a new Mac this year. 😉

      1. Yes, was going to say the same. Will Microsoft make ARM versions of Windows downloadable, and if not, how soon before versions from “alternative sources” are available?

        1. Sorry. Should have looked it up. Windows on ARM can run 32-bit (but not 64-bit) x86 Windows software in emulation. The performance is slow on a Snapdragon 850, but apparently tolerable in exchange for extreme portability and long battery life. I would think that Apple could do better with its much more powerful A-series processors.

    1. Oh well, you get the comments you pay for, too. With iPad software very powerful indeed and ARM processors powering both iOS and MacOS, and MacOS able to run iPad apps, you’ll get much more than you pay for switch a 12-inch MacBook, which might at long last even come with a touch screen. Bye bye Surface

  1. Something people aren’t talking about is the increased aggression from China, If it increases they will face more restrictions. So Companies manufacturing in China Including Apple will face Technology restrictions, so Chips made in Taiwan/Korea might not be able to be exported to China for Final Manufacturing, thus endangering their product lines. We haven’t heard Biden talk about his Plan on dealing with China on his platform so Predicting what will happen is naught.

    Also if Apple does switch platforms again, they are giving the users/developers a middle finger again, as they have to buy new machines and redevelop for Apple’s profit. Every year they come out with a new OS, which screws Everyone, Restricts what it can do, bogs the system down with useless bloatware all on the Assumption it’s Fine for the Users to deal with while cementing Apple’s Profit Engine and making people bend over and taking the shaft while smiling at you under the guise of “Innovation and progress”.

      1. I’m sorry, but Apple’s been on the wrong path since sun setting GSOS. I’m expecting Monday will bring a bit of surprise news that it’s BACK!! /s

  2. Come on guys. The first ARM Macs will be entry level devices, where most of the usage will be web based and no heavy lifting involved. Pro Macs will remaining Intel until applications are updated and the processors kick Intel’s butt.

    1. Thankfully, applecynic, you are completely and utterly ARMless. Your bark is loud but your bite is non-existent, you’re the dentured man looking at a juicy Apple to eat but have to give up because of outdated, poor dentures. No wonder you’re cynical. Anyway you’re worse than ARMless, you’re brainless too, which additionally explains so very much about you.

        1. Laugh away, buddy, none of us here have the misfortune of being a curmudgeonly Apple hater like you. We’re all laughing at you too, with every bitter and hate-filled post of yours.

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