Apple said to be evaluating Apple Silicon-powered macOS on iPhone

Leaker Mauri QHD tweets that Apple is working on prototypes with Apple Silicon-powered macOS running on the iPhone, which would allow a user to plug an iPhone into a dock or monitor, and have a full desktop experience.

Image: iPhone 12 render (image via
iPhone 12 render (image via

William Gallagher for AppleInsider:

Apple has previously denied that its Catalyst project means that the Mac and iOS are coming together. However, now that the Mac will be running on Apple Silicon, a leaker says that the company is prototyping macOS on an iPhone.

“It is ready,” the leaker continues, “they keep working on prototypes on the side, and are using this time to make it even better… but have 2 options ready (will go with only 1).”

“They are just waiting for other projects to fall into place,” says the leaker. “Is 95% sure it’s coming, but not 100%. It depends on a lot of factors.”

MacDailyNews Take: Cool.

This also reminds us of what we’ve asked many times over the past few years: Who’s in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad Pro when undocked?

As we wrote in early 2017: Here’s an idea: Apple could sell iPad Pros as they do now, and for those wanting a “Mac,” Apple could sell them the macOS-powered display-less keyboard/trackpad/cpu/RAM/SSD/battery base unit. Attach your iPad for the display and off you go, you Mac-headed truck driver! Plus, you get to use the iPad’s battery, too, extending battery life to provide a truly all-day battery for portable Mac users. Detach the display and you get your iOS-powered iPad back, same as always.

Too outside the box? We’d love to be able to take our 12-inch iPad Pro, mate it with this theoretical Mac base unit, and turn it into a portable Mac. Right now, we carry 12-inch iPad Pros and MacBooks in our backpacks. Guess what’s redundant? Right, the displays. We don’t need to carry two screens on the road. The iPad Pro’s screen would do just fine, thanks.

Buy the Mac base on its own (for those who already have 12.9-inch iPad Pros) or buy it as part of a package (get a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at a nice discount when you buy it with the Mac base). Imagine if Apple had unveiled this headless MacBook that you use with your iPad at their iPad event last fall. How many more 12-inch iPad Pro sales would such a product have generated? Enough to return iPad to unit sales growth, we bet. And, how many more Macs would have been sold, too?

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application
Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application


  1. Well, maybe Apple figured out that it will not hurt their hardware sales to ALLOW macOS to run commercially on all their that they have production ready A1x code ready to go?

  2. Apple try heaps of ideas in prototype. For example, one of the polycarbonate iMacs was tested having a SD/CF slot.

    Doesn’t mean it’ll see market, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad.

  3. I don’t know if I want it, but I’d certainly like to see it. My 15″ MacBook Pro’s menu bar is already completely filled from end to end and my dock must have about 50 applications, so I couldn’t imagine trying to use it on a small iPhone display. Naw, I’m past the stage where I want everything that pops into my head as being kind of cool. Next, I might want AppleWatch OS to run on my iMac. Yeah, that would be really useful. Over the years, I’ve installed all sorts of things on my Mac computers just to see them run and then use them once or twice and wished I hadn’t bothered. Now, I just think back and say NO! I don’t need or want anything like Samsung’s Dex.

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