Apple is ending its 15-year partnership with Intel and transitioning to its own line of ARM-powered chips for Macs.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook characterized it Monday as the biggest transition ever for the Mac, which has gone through three other evolutions in its three decade history.
“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” Cook said. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The transition will take place over a two-year period, but the first Macs with Apple silicon will ship by the end of this year.
Johny Srouji, Apple senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said the transition to Apple's own chips will allow Macs to use less power while increasing performance.
Apps for the iPhone and iPad will also now be able to run natively on Macs, which will likely lead to a huge surge in apps on the Mac app store.
“This transition will also establish a common architecture across all Apple products, making it far easier for developers to write and optimize their apps for the entire ecosystem,” Apple said in a news release after the developers’ conference.
Patrick Moorhead, president of the technology research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told the Wall Street Journal last week that this transition could save Apple an estimated $150 per MacBook, which could allow the company to add other features to make its laptops and desktops more attractive.
Intel said Monday that Apple is still a valued customer in other areas.
“Apple is a customer across several areas of business, and we will continue to support them,” the company told FOX Business in a statement. “Intel remains focused on delivering the most advanced PC experiences and a wide range of technology choices that redefine computing.”
The announcement came during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, which was virtual for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.