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Does 2021 have a Mac ARM in store?

February 24, 2020.

16-inch MacBook Pro.

16-inch MacBook Pro. © Apple.

According to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a Mac equipped with an ARM processor, a 5nm SoC developed by Apple, should be released in the first half of 2021. Several rumors suggest that Apple is designing ARM processors internally for its Macs. This would allow it to no longer depend on Intel, whose frequent delays have often stymied the release dates for new machines. The iPhone, iPad, iWatch and Apple TV already run on Apple ARM chips; it would be a logical next step for the manufacturer to base all its products on the same architecture. That said, it is not an easy task, especially for application developers. The transition from PowerPC to Intel in 2005 did not go so smoothly; back then, Apple provided Rosetta, a PPC emulator, but performance was obviously degraded and many applications were affected by more or less serious incompatibilities. Currently, it’s not even certain that Apple will emulate x86 in the future ARM version of macOS. We also do not know whether the whole range of products will switch to ARM processors, or only laptops (which could greatly benefit from the less power-hungry ARM chips).

MacRumors, Juli Clover, “Mac With Apple-Designed Arm Processor Coming in First Half of 2021.”