Highlights:

  • Arm-based Macbook might be announced by Apple in WMDC 2020
  • The event will be held online from June 22 to June 26
  • Apple might also launch new iPad OS 14 for its tablets

We are there, MacBooks are at the best they can be. There is very little room left for improvement now. Every year Intel launches their new processors, and Apple-like follows up with new MacBook running on those processors. One might think about how long the apple can offer the same thin and light design and keep the machine a powerful beast.

With this year’s new MacBook Pro 16, we saw a marginally more significant fan and better thermal solution, but due to thin design, the performance of the processors is still limited.

But soon, everything is going to change as Apple plans to announce its new line of MacBooks. This time instead of Intel they will run on Apple’s own ARM-based processors. Currently, Apple makes chips for the iPhone and iPad in-house.

Now Apple can design the chips as powerful as possible, and then make the rest of the machine around the chip. Therefore the new iPad Pro 2020 has the same performance as the MacBook Pro with the top tier i7 processor and that also without the noisy fan.

So, let’s see how much of different will the latest ARM MacBook’s will be

1. They are going to be blazingly fast

Apple has mastered mobile chip technology. Apple, since the launch of the first iPhone, has been way ahead of all the Android manufacturers. Android has been playing catchup since then. With the launch of iPad Pro in 2018, Apple proved how good its mobile chips are. The iPad Pro 2018 is more powerful than 90% of laptops launched that year.

With the release of new Apple iPads each year, their performance is coming close and close to that of the desktop computers. The reason behind this is the abundantly powerful cores available.

While most windows laptops offer 4 or 6 cores, the 2018 iPad had 8 cores. Among these 8 cores, four cores are energy-efficient, while the other four are designed to maximize the performance. The system can dynamically switch between either of the cores or can use all of them for better performance.

This is the 2018 configuration that I’m talking about, what Apple has in store for launch in 2021 will surely blow every other laptop out of water.

2. ARM-based processors are power efficient

Apple has an excellent track record of designing chips for thin, light devices that carries batteries inside them. We have seen how good the iPad, iPhone, and the Apple Watch can be. Now, when it comes to laptops, they need to balance between battery life and performance.

Currently, with the Intel processors in MacBooks, they provide a battery life of approximately 10 hours which is very good. It is suggestive that Apple might again shoot for the same in the ARM-based models. They can even optimize the chips so good that the MacBooks might last up to 12 hours

3. ARM-based apple chips will run cooler and faster

Apple iPads deliver some of the best performance compared to many laptops currently available in the market, even better than some of the Intel-based MacBook. The iPad, even with their eight cores, do this without the need of any fans to keep the internals cooler.

Therefore, fundamentally the ARM-based MacBook can run cooler compared to their Intel-based counterparts. You probably remember the 15-inch MacBook with i9 processors that throttled soon after Apple announced the new MacBooks in 2019. So, we can expect that the ARM-based MacBooks will throttle less, ultimately allowing them to run cooler and faster.

iPads don’t need fans to cool them. This can even mean that there is a very high possibility that we might see MacBooks without internal fans in the coming future. It would be great to use laptops that don’t need fans to keep the CPU cool.

Rumors about Apple working on new Arm-based MacBook devices

Talks have been around that the employees down at Apple are working on a project with a code-name “Kalamata” that is aimed to make the iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks work together more seamlessly. One way to achieve this is to implement the same processors that Apple makes for its iPad and iPhones and make apps around them.

The company is eventually aiming to pursue developers to make apps that run across all the Apple devices, whether they are iPad, iPhone, or a MacBook. Apple has been working on these along with Mac Catalyst. Mac Catalyst provides the developers with the option to port the iPad apps over to the Mac store with minimal efforts.

It is certain that Apple will make some announcements like this in this year’s WMDC online event.

Which devices are in works with the ARM processors?

Currently, there is three Mac system on chip designs (SOC) based on the A14 processors in development. These chips will be used for the iPhone as well as the new MacBooks. Apple expects to keep the laptop and mobile chips on the same development cycles.

One of the great news from these is that the new high-performance chips will be based on the 5nm fabrication process and will feature 12-cores in total. The cores will comprise of 8 high-performance CPU cores, and rest 4 cores will be energy-efficient just like we saw in the iPad chips. Also, there will be no need for additional graphics cards; the GPU will be embedded on the CPU only.

A report from Bloomberg speculates that the first line-up of Apple’s ARM-based machines will be low powered MacBook’s. The devices will be powerful, but as they are first in the line, they might not be as powerful as the higher-end MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Mac Pro computers.

When will Apple introduce the Arm-based MacBook’s

The company plans to announce its planned shift from Intel chips to ARM-based MacBook at this year’s WMDC. Apple is planning to release the chips early so that the developers can have enough time to play with them.

Ming-Chi Kuo and Apple analyst believe that the company will release the new ARM-based MacBook in the fourth quarter of 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021. As the global pandemic of COVID-19 has struck the whole world, we can say that the launch line-up may be pushed down more that little.

Bloomberg says that at least one custom-designed Arm-based MacBooks might launch by 2021.

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