2021 MacBook may come with Apple-designed processor

Space Gray MacBook Pro
Space Gray MacBook Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple may release a MacBook in 2021 that has an Apple-designed processor.
  • That's according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Details are sketchy, but it could signal confirmation of the move towards ARM-based Macs.

A report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple might release a MacBook Pro in 2021 with a processor designed by Apple.

An investors note obtained by MacRumors stated the following:

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.

Speculation that Apple would bring ARM processors to its Macs has been rife for several years. Just a couple of weeks ago, references to several unreleased AMD APUs were spotted in the new macOS beta.

However, the latest prediction from Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that there is now a timeline for the introduction of Apple-designed processors to the MacBook lineup, namely the first half of 2021.

As the report notes, the introduction of ARM-based chips would bring unity to Mac, iPhone, and iPad in terms of their chip architecture and the apps that they can run, further streamlining the Apple ecosystem. Apple of course already makes its own A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad.

The note from Ming-Chi Kuo further confirms the expectation of a 5G iPhone in the second half of 2020, along with a new iPad that will feature mini LED, a rumor that also surfaced yesterday from a separate source.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9