Noted analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, claims that Apple will officially announce its first ARM-powered custom Mac processor today at WWDC 2020. In his latest research note, Kuo said that the first device to feature the new chip will be a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. It will reportedly be launched in Q4, 2020 or Q1, 2021. Apple will discontinue the Intel-based MacBook Pro once the ARM model is launched, says the report.
Meanwhile, the first ARM-powered iMac is also expected to be launched at around the same time. According to Kuo, the device will feature a 24-inch display with thin bezels. It will be launched at around the same time as the ARM-powered MacBook.
Kuo also claimed that the Intel-powered version of the iMac (a much-awaited revamp) is expected to be launched later this year. It will likely be the last iMac to be powered by an Intel chip though, he said. The full transition from Intel to ARM, however, will take a while. As per the research note, Apple’s switch to an ARM-only lineup will take about 12 to 18 months.
Apple’s plans about ARM-based MacBooks were first reported by Bloomberg back in January 2018. That report suggests Apple may be working on at least three new Mac models, including two MacBooks and one iMac, with integrated ARM-based custom co-processors.
It is worth noting that Apple already uses ARM-based chips in some of its current laptops and desktops. While the MacBook Pro uses the custom T1 chip to handle the Touch ID sensor and the Touch Bar, the iMac Pro uses the T2 chip to control the speakers, the internal microphone, the fans, the camera and internal storage.