Apple is reportedly prepping to launch its first ARM-based MacBooks as early as next year. That’s according to the latest research note from renowned KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that the ARM-powered MacBooks, which have been rumored for a long time, will be announced in the next 12 to 18 months. The note, which was reportedly obtained by MacRumors, further says that the devices will be powered by an ARM-based custom processor designed in-house by Apple instead of an x86-based chip from Intel.
Apple’s plans to launch ARM-based MacBooks powered by in-house chips was originally reportedly by Bloomberg back in January 2018, with the report stating that the company may be working on at least three new Mac models, including two MacBooks and one iMac, with integrated ARM-based custom co-processors. Interestingly, however, the Bloomberg report claimed that the CPUs in those chips may still come from Intel, although, the latest report now seems to suggest otherwise.
Kuo further says that Apple has been “more aggressive” with its R&D plans since the coronavirus outbreak, and the single biggest beneficiary of that will be the 5nm chips that will start shipping by the middle of this year. As per the report, the chips will be first seen in the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup this year, followed by the aforementioned MacBooks in 2021 and 2022. According to him, alongside the iPhone 12 lineup, the mini-LED iPad expected to be announced in late 2020 or early 2021 will also feature the new 5nm chips.
It’s worth noting here that Apple already designs its own ARM-based custom chips that go into its iPhones and iPads, with the latest A13 Bionic that powers the iPhone 11 lineup said to be the most advanced mobile chipset in the world right now. However, the company has exclusively used Intel processors in its desktop and laptop computers since ditching its in-house RISC-based PowerPC chips that used to power its PowerMac models in the early years of this millennium.