Following another confirmation of the updates to this year’s MacBook lineup – namely the addition of a 16-inch screened model – Apple’s plans for future upgrades are becoming clearer.
This week noticed another piece in the puzzle that’s ARM-powered Mac machines. This has been a talking point for some years and gives Apple some key commercial benefits including the near parity of the A-series chips within the iPhone and iPad devices to the Intel counterparts in the macOS powered machines,
Though there shall be opportunities for ‘chip architect’ with a variety of Apple projects (such because the rumored AR/VR hardware) most analysts expect Filippo to focus on the Mac/ARM project to assist Tim Cook and his team being beholden to Intel.
First of all, Apple is on the mercy of a single supplier with Intel. Not like other parts of the supply chain where multiple companies will vie for Apple’s business (banking on marker orders to make up the shortfall generated by a more competitive bid), Apple can’t leverage Intel for a cheaper chip supply. The price can’t be ratcheted down.
Apple can also be on the mercy of Intel’s product cycle. Unlike the synced schedules of the iPhone and the iPad to Apple’s A-xx chips, the Mac roadmap is not up to Apple, it’s up to Intel. Tim Cook could have some preferences as to launch dates (I’m thinking late March or late October), however, it’s not beneath his control.
Finally, Apple is working hard to create a single environment for developers to focus on which can permit apps to run on iOS and macOS with none changes. Putting apart the truth that Microsoft has already tried this with lower than stellar outcomes, Apple’s clear priority over the previous few years has been the iOS platform, which relies on around ARM. The move seems like a great fit.