NEW DELHI: Technology giant Apple is reportedly planning to make its Mac computers with mobile chipsets soon. According to a report by Bloomberg, the company plans to “shift to its own main processors in Mac computers” and will be making the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for 22 June.
WWDC is Apple’s yearly conference for developers, where it announces new software and sometimes products too. The company has been using Intel processors on Macs since 2016.
The report claims that Apple will be replacing Intel chips on its Mac computers with chips based on Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) architectures. These will apparently be modeled on the company’s current processors for its iPhones and iPads. The Bionic-branded chipsets, which Apple uses on these devices are already based on ARM architectures.
The report added that Apple will continue using MacOS, its desktop operating system, on the mobile processor driven Macs.
PC makers have been looking at such chipsets for laptops for a while now. In fact, Apple has made its iPad Pro more PC-like, by adding support for keyboard and touchpads, and revamping the operating system to have more desktop-like features. The Microsoft Surface Pro X runs on the SQ1 processor, which is an ARM-based processor made by Microsoft and Qualcomm.
While iPads remain mobile first devices, moving to an ARM architecture could be a sign that Apple sees the future here. The PC space is still driven mostly by Microsoft and its Windows, so Apple won’t be losing a big market too. On the other hand, designing its own system will give Apple more vertical control on its ecosystem, something that has helped the company set iPhones and iPads apart from competing devices.
On the developer front, Apple has already convinced companies like Adobe etc. to create apps for its iPad. The company’s App Stores has many apps that cater to power users and run on mobile platforms.
This is important because app support for mobile architectures has been one of the biggest roadblocks for Microsoft’s mobile chipset driven PCs. The Surface Pro X runs a full fledged version of Windows 10, but Microsoft built in an emulator that allows legacy apps to run better. However, the product still suffers from lack of native app support.
Apple has a big market amongst creators, which includes YouTubers, graphic designers etc. Ensuring that its apps like Logic, iMovie etc. work just as well on the new mobile architectures will be critical to retaining this market.