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Apple to announce it is ditching Intel chips at WWDC 2020

Apple will announce it is switching its Macs from Intel processors to its own ARM-based chips at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, according to industry analyst Mark Gurman at Bloomberg.

According to Gurman, internal tests at Apple have shown significant performance improvements using ARM chips when compared to current Intel options, specifically in the areas of artificial intelligence and graphics. The tests also apparently showed ARM chips to be much more power-efficient, which would likely permit thinner and lighter MacBooks in the future.

Apple’s iPhones and iPads are already powered by ARM processors and surge ahead of rival devices in terms of power. The upcoming Mac ARM chips will reportedly be based on these processors but will continue to run MacOS rather than a version of iOS or iPadOS. If Apple can replicate its success in its mobile devices, this could be a significant enhancement for the Mac.

The ARM switch has been rumored for many months. Other analysts such as Ming-Chi Kuo have previously shared their thoughts on the matter, and leaked code from MacOS betas has hinted that Apple is looking to move away from Intel processors in its Macs.

But the comment from Gurman that the announcement will come at WWDC is a significant development. Gurman is well-regarded for his reliable track record and accurate sources, so gaining his stamp of approval is a notable boost to the rumor that WWDC is the event to watch for ARM-related news.

It is not the first time Gurman has claimed Apple will switch to ARM. What is new this time is his insistence that the announcement will take place imminently at Apple’s developer-focused event.

Unlike in previous years, WWDC 2020 will be entirely online due to the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That means more people will be able to virtually attend, making the event an ideal platform for a huge announcement such as the switch to ARM.

We have previously argued that WWDC was the perfect time to reveal the switch, and Apple’s own WWDC marketing materials seem to hint at that possibility. Both Apple’s first and second WWDC teaser images prominently depict the Mac (specifically MacBook), suggesting that Apple’s laptops will be the focus of the event.

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