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First ARM Mac to be released in the next 18 months says noted Apple analyst

By Kenny Yeo - on 25 Feb 2020, 9:13am

First ARM Mac to be released in the next 18 months says noted Apple analyst

(Image source: Apple)

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that Apple will release its first Mac with an ARM-based custom processor in the next 12 to 18 months.

He also said that the processor will be based on a cutting-edge 5nm process that will be the "core technology" for Apple products in the next 12 to 18 months.

The current iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPad Pro are all powered by processors built on a 7nm process. Going down to a 5nm process should see improvements in performance and efficiency.

It's also worth noting that Apple was the first to use a 7nm processor (in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR) so using smaller process nodes is clearly something that's important to Apple.

More importantly, going down this route will give Apple more independence in its Mac products.

Of late, Apple has been stymied by Intel's consistent chip delays and shortages. Using its own processors will give Apple greater control over performance and product cycles.

This was what Kuo said in his note:

We expect that Apple's new products in 12-18 months will adopt processors made by 5nm process, including the new 2H20 5G iPhone, new 2H20 iPad equipped with mini LED, and new 1H21 Mac equipped with the own-design processor. We think that iPhone 5G support, ‌iPad‌'s adoption of innovative mid-size panel technology, and Mac's first adoption of the own-design processor are all Apple's critical product and technology strategies. Given that the processor is the core component of new products, we believe that Apple had increased 5nm-related investments after the epidemic outbreak. Further, Apple occupying more resources of related suppliers will hinder competitors' developments.

Source: MacRumors