Skip to main content

Refreshed iMac and MacBook Pro said to be first in line for Apple’s own chips

Apple will break up with Intel at its annual developer conference, WWDC on Monday, June 22. The company is expected to introduce its own line of ARM-based chips that will power the next generation of Mac computers. While Apple likely won’t announce new hardware at WWDC, a software-focused event, longtime analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims (via MacRumors) the first ARM-powered Macs will arrive as soon as later this year.

In a new investor note, Kuo says the last Mac to run on Intel processors will be a refreshed iMac with an “all-new form factor design” and a 24-inch display that will arrive sometime in this year’s third quarter. However, Apple will soon follow up with an ARM variant of the redesigned iMac in the first half of 2021.

An upgraded 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will also be among the first Mac models to launch with ARM chips. Other than the under-the-hood improvements, the new MacBook Pro won’t have any visual changes, though. Apple is said to discontinue the existing Intel-based Pro lineup soon after. Kuo hints the ARM 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 or early 2021 at the earliest.

Contrary to expectations, there’s no word on an ARM-based MacBook Air yet. However, there’s still plenty of time before Kuo’s predicted timeline and we could potentially hear more about it in the coming months.

Kuo adds that starting in 2021, all new Mac models will feature Apple’s own ARM processors and that the company is planning to phase out Intel entirely in about 12 to 18 months. In addition, Apple is reportedly developing a mysterious, new redesigned MacBook that will enter mass production in the second half of 2021. This could be the rumored 12-inch MacBook that a few reports have suggested in the past.

Kuo expects the new ARM chips to offer a 50-100% performance boost over their Intel counterparts. That additional leeway will translate especially well in battery life for MacBooks, since ARM chips are relatively more power-efficient.

As per a previous Bloomberg report, Apple is primarily working on three 12-core ARM-based Mac processors, all of which are built on top of the upcoming A14 chip that will likely debut on the next iPhones. The first of these chips will be reportedly exclusively for lower-powered Macs since Apple hasn’t been able to match Intel’s higher-end offerings just yet. The switch from Intel to ARM will let Apple cut down the processor costs by about 40-60%. How much will that affect Macs’ asking price remains to be seen.

Editors' Recommendations

Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
This one surprising laptop could actually challenge the MacBook Pro
A rendering of the two color options for the Asus Zephyrus G14.

For the last few years, MacBooks have had a serious advantage over its Windows rivals. No one else has been able to combine power and portability in the way Apple’s 14-inch MacBook Pro does, especially with the arrival of the M3 Max. But that may not be the case for much longer.

Unveiled at CES 2024, the updated Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 seems to have serious ambitions on taking Apple’s crown. It's a gaming laptop, yes, but it's been redesigned from the ground up to cater to a crossover crowd. It’s sleek and svelte, yet doesn’t skimp on the output.

Read more
Why I went with the MacBook Pro over the Mac Studio
Apple MacBook Pro 16 front angled view showing display and keyboard.

A few weeks ago, I decided to migrate to all-Apple computing. It's been a fascinating journey and certainly not a straight line, with several unanticipated twists. Perhaps the biggest is an about-face when it comes to my main PC.

I had fully intended to replace my workhorse Windows desktop with Apple's most powerful, yet accessible desktop, the Mac Studio. That seemed entirely logical: a desktop PC should replace a desktop PC. As it turns out, however, Apple's MacBook Pro 16 better fits my needs. The reason why involves a lot of personal decision-making that hopefully you'll be able to relate to as you map out your own computing needs.
The M3 Max made me wonder

Read more
Have the M3 MacBook Pros made the Mac Studio irrelevant?
Apple Mac Studio front view showing ports.

It might seem strange to compare a desktop PC to a laptop. After all, one is intended for stationary work, and the other is meant to carry around. They have different internals, different connectivity, and usually different performance.

But Apple's Mac Studio and MacBook Pro (especially the 16-inch variant) are a different story. For Mac users, both represent the fastest Apple computers you can buy. Depending on how you use a desktop PC, either machine can suffice. So, which one is right for you?
Specs and configurations

Read more