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What Happens If Apple Switches to Its Own ARM Chips for Macs?

CNN reports that Apple could announce “a long-rumored switch” from Intel chips to its own ARM-based chips for Macs at its WWDC conference Monday — citing a report from Bloomberg.

Then they consider the possible advantages:

When that does happen, the major changes Mac users are likely to see include better battery life and sleeker devices. Apple’s in-house chips have a smaller architecture and are more efficient because they are designed for smartphones, according to David McQueen, research director at ABI Research… “Moving to ARM-based chips can bring efficiencies and better battery life without sacrificing performance,” McQueen said. “It may also help to cut out some size issues, possibly allowing Macs to be made thinner, while also negating the need for fans,” he added.

McQueen says having the same chips running on iPhones, iPads and Macs would also make it easier to standardize the user experience across all three devices. “It will allow all Apple devices to work more seamlessly together,” he said. “It should also make it much easier for developers to create apps that are capable of running across Apple devices.” There’s another big potential benefit to using the same chips for iPhones and Macs, particularly with the growth of 5G networks. “Although Apple has given no indication that it is looking to do so, this switch does also open the doors for Apple to launch MacBooks with cellular connectivity capabilities,” Mardikar said.

For Apple, bringing processor production in-house will likely allow the company to offer better performance upgrades with each generation of devices because it will no longer be tied to Intel’s upgrade cycle for new chips. “They also get to control their own product launch cadence,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a research manager at IDC. “In the past, they had to really wait on Intel to launch new processors before they could refresh the Mac lineup.”

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