Apple is planning to use its own chips in Mac computers beginning 2020, replacing processors from Intel, a Bloomberg report said on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Currently, all iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs use main processors designed by Apple and based on technology from Arm Holdings Plc.
Apple is set to power its Mac computers with in-house processors.
"While it's possible that Apple may replace Intel in some of its lower-end product lines, we think it will be hard for Apple to completely replace Intel by 2020, especially on its higher-end offerings", said Summit Insights group analyst Kinngai Chan. Given Apple's increasing capabilities in processor manufacturing, and a push to make communication between different product families faster and more seamless, the decision to gradually phase out Intel hardware might make a lot of sense to the Cupertino, California-based firm. Designing future Macs around its own chips would afford Apple more flexibility in releasing new products, and the added level of hardware control would also let the company further bolster security.
Now the Intel processors are only laptops and PC.
Interestingly, Digitimes expects Apple to start developing microLED panels for the Apple Watch as early as the end of the year. Apple's latest iPhones and iPads have grown more powerful than some of the company's past Macs.
While it is estimated only 5% of Intel's revenue comes from its deal with Apple, it stocks dropped as much as 9.2% today (though the whole stock market also dropped) making it the biggest intraday drop in over two years.
Intel sales of chips such as the Core i7 to Apple are estimated to account for 5pc of the former's annual revenues. The only current Appledevices with screens larger than MacBooks are iMac desktops.
Nearly certainly the new processors would be based on the ARM architecture which is used as the template for virtually every mobile phone processor including those used in the iPhone and iPad.
Apple sold almost 20m Macs past year as the wide desktop market continued its downward turn. Apple already designs chips for its iPhone, iPad and other devices.
The move would enable Apple to more closely integrate its own technologies, leading to more flexible development times rather than relying on Intel's roadmap. Apple has to walk the fine line of moving away from Intel chips without sacrificing the speed and capabilities of its Macs.
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