Apple has been rumored to be working on an ARM-based MacBook for some time now, and the latest report is that the device will arrive in 2021. According to a new report from Bloomberg though, the Cupertino firm might announce the transition from Intel CPUs to ARM chipsets much sooner than that. It could make the announcement as early as WWDC, which is just two weeks away.
If you're unfamiliar with ARM chipsets, it's the architecture that you'll find in just about any smartphone and most tablets. The technology offers better battery life, and that includes better power management, utilizing a big.LITTLE architecture that lets the machine consume more power only when it needs to.
But Apple has been designing its own processors for years now. These are the processors that are used in iPhones and iPads, and the company has shown time and again that it can best its competition when it comes to performance. In fact, according to the report, these new ARM processors are already beating Intel processors in graphics and AI performance, in internal testing.
ARM-based PCs is something that Microsoft has been working on with Qualcomm for some time, and OEMs like Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei, HP, and ASUS have all produced such devices. They've failed to gain traction though, and that's partially because Microsoft is still struggling to get app-makers on board. The PC ecosystem is filled with a ton of overweight apps that will take a lot of time to convert to run natively on the new platform.
It's unclear how Apple plans to tackle this problem. Companies like Adobe are notoriously slow at adapting to changes, and Creative Cloud is a massive product with a ton of old code. Apple could go the same route as Microsoft, offering emulation for apps that don't run natively. We'll just have to wait until WWDC to find out, assuming that the report is accurate. Bloomberg did say that the announcement could be delayed.