KEY POINTS

  • MacBooks, Mac Desktops will use Apple ARM-based processors in 2021
  • ARM-based processors will help bring down Mac costs
  • Work needs to be done on compatibility with ARM SoCs

Apple is feeling the effect of the coronavirus pandemic like most businesses all over the world. Shipments are being hit and most know how some parts of the Cupertino company are from third parties.

The most essential part is the processor. For now, Apple is heavily reliant on Intel to deliver although most know the delays have become an issue even before the COVID-19 spread. By 2021, Apple intends to address that problem by using its ARM-based processors in MacBook and Mac desktops. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the shift towards these chips will start either later this year or early 2021, Mac Rumors reported.

Once this happens, Mac owners should benefit immensely. Among the things they can expect are easy ways to refresh their Mac models without depending so much on Intel's processor roadmap. But the best part of it all is that the MacBook or Mac desktop models will see reduced costs as well. The savings should allow Apple to further enhance the units compared to the traditional Windows-based PCs.

The ARM systems-on-chip (SoC) is something to watch out for. They have done better compared to Qualcomm and are chips that are currently being used on Apple's iPad Pros. The ARM SoC's efficiency on a MacBook or Mac desktop that will spell a big difference. Better yet, it may spell trouble for Intel.

But with a new chipset comes the need to adjust the Macs as well. Software compatibility needs addressing as well for the machines to perform well. Hence, it goes beyond simply replacing a key part of a computer and expecting it to run smoothly without glitches.

Tied up to that as well are other components and peripherals that need to work with ARM. Looking beyond what the Macbook or Mac desktop offers now, another feature worth anticipating is the USB 4, Slash Gear reported. The next USB version will reportedly combine the Thunderbolt 3 and USB to lessen the expected confusion that users and accessory makers will encounter. ASMedia Technology will be the exclusive supplier of USB controllers.

As for aesthetics, expect some new MacBook models sporting an all-new design. It was not mentioned if this would be the Air or Pro models  although the latter seems due for a facelift. The last redesign for the MacBook Pro happened in 2016 while the MacBook Air got its facelift in 2018.

MacBook Pro The MacOS Catalina 10.15.3 update is compatible with all MacBook Pro models released from mid-2012 onwards. Photo: Wikimedia Commons