Apple’s first ARM-based Mac could be 12-inch MacBook

Apple’s first ARM-based Mac could be ushered in via the return of the 12-inch MacBook.

“Fudge, a leaker who goes by @choco_bit on Twitter, often shares details on upcoming Apple products,” Juli Clover writes for MacRumors. “With Apple’s ARM-based Macs that use custom-made chips on the horizon, Fudge today shared some of his thoughts on how, why, and when Apple will roll out Arm-based Macs, including some speculation on how apps, Boot Camp, and other features might be impacted.”

Apple's MacBook with 12-inch Retina display
Apple’s MacBook with 12-inch Retina display

Juli Clover for MacRumors:

Based on tidbits from supply chain sources, Fudge believes that Apple could revive its now-discontinued MacBook, with a new 12-inch model unveiled as the first Mac with an Apple-designed Arm-based chip. Though hard to believe, he suggests that Apple could even perhaps revive the butterfly keyboard for the machine.

There are rumors that Apple is still working internally to perfect the infamous Butterfly keyboard, and there are also signs that Apple is developing an A14x based processors with 8-12 cores designed specifically for use as the primary processor in a Mac. It makes sense that this model could see the return of the Butterfly keyboard, considering how thin and light it is intended to be, and using an A14x processor would make it will be a very capable, very portable machine, and should give customers a good taste of what is to come.

The 12-inch MacBook could look the same as the retired version, and Fudge says it’s unclear if there will be design changes. There could be 5G connectivity though, and we have heard rumors about Apple bringing cellular connectivity to Macs in some form.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, but no “butterfly” keyboard as that is a dead marketing name. If they do use a butterfly mechanism, it sure as hell won’t be called “butterfly.”

Conveniently, the MacBook makes its triumphant return as the first Mac powered by an Apple-designed ARM processor.MacDailyNews, February 28, 2020

We’ve been anticipating ARM-powered Macs for quite a long time now and we can’t for the the process to begin!

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

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


  1. I have always loved my 2016 12″ MacBook but the keyboard is horrible. Not only the feel of the keys but they seem to be spaced and sized differently. Whenever I touch type the last keys on the left or right I usually hit the one next to it. i.e: try to hit return, but instead get the apostrophe. It’s as if they changed the size and spacing of the keys to look good on the computer.

    Although I have six books published by McGraw-Hill I find writing to be as pleasant as sitting in the middle seat of an airplane.

    So I bought the MacBook because I lusted after it and used it to write my latest McGraw-Hill book: Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand. I put none of my digital world on that computer which made it a non-distracting environment to use just for that writing project. And as a bonus it was small enough to write with when I am stuck flying in coach.

    And though the project succeeded, and the book was written on the MacBook and published, as far as the keyboard, UGH! What a pain. I have PTKSD Post Traumatic Keyboard Stress Disorder.

    The keyboard on my 2019, 16″ MacBook Pro is wonderful. Make it feel and be oriented like that Apple, please.

    1. That was an amusing visit actually though about as illuminating as Elon Musk’s unveiling of Starship, what was clear mind is Microsoft’s naming regime makes Apples look positively clarity personified, though one has to admire in all honesty their persistance in throwing mud at the wall hoping something will stick.

    2. Being nasty is no first for applecynic though, it’s a last. Indeed, it is lame with worse BS. Frankly, it’s just lame. Stay in your silo of hate though, it frankly suits an ancient curmudgeon like you, your avatar likewise illustrates you perfectly – crusty, grumpy old white guy who has lost all relevancy.

    3. The iPad Pro already crushes the Surface Pro X in benchmarks and real world tests. It isn’t even close. When Apple puts ARM in Macs it will be another generation better than that even. It’s going to be ridiculous how much Apple will crush the Surface performance.

        1. Hey, I’m not the one who trotted out the Surface Pro X to smack talk Apple. That was you. Maybe try knowing what you’re talking about before you open your mouth.

  2. Apple may create a new product line for ARM Macs:
    Very long battery life
    Fast performance for standard apps like browsers, office etc.
    Ultimate connectivity – 5G / wifi combo means you can always be on line.

    Would a touch screen also makes sense and ability to flip the screen to convert to an iPad format? Great for traveling whenever we get to do that again.

  3. Once you have a keyboard and mouse on an iPad, there is really no hardware reason for it not to be a mac. They might stick with permanently attached keyboards, but there is no reason to. An ARM based mac would run all iPad programs, right? So the two platforms will have merged.

    1. Yes. At long last, it will be great to have a machine that can do both things – freeze and toast bread. Seriously though even MDN have been asking for a MacPad hybrid for a long time. applecynic will hate it though. He hates anything apple, which rumor says even includes his own name, because it has apple in it. Irrational, but – that’s applecynic

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