According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is exploring a switch from Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors to Apple’s own ARM-based chipset for future Macs. The company spoke to people ‘familiar with the company’s research’, who suggested that with ARM processors like those in the iPhone and iPad getting more powerful every year, the line of chips developed by Apple could soon be good enough to be placed into the Mac lineup.
Apple has been committed to Intel since the partnership was announced in 2005, and even if these rumours are true it’s unlikely that we’ll see a change in the next couple of years. However, with many seeing a convergence of OS X and iOS in the next few years, it would make sense for Apple to merge the chips into one form.
Some users have already expressed dismay at the rumour, which would likely cause similar issues to the switch from PowerPC chips to Intel chips seven years ago. Many apps will fail to work without an update on a new, ARM-based system, and Bootcamp, which allows users to boot into Windows from their Mac, is also unlikely to make the jump.
This rumour has been circulating for some time, so it’s still not clear how much truth it holds. Bob Mansfield has recently become the Senior Vice President of the new Technologies group, and is apparently leading the chip research, and it makes sense for Apple to want its own chips in all of its devices. However, with at least a couple more years before anything changes in Apple’s chip architecture, there’s still plenty of time to get a new Mac without worrying about quickly being out of date.