Bloomberg: Apple planning to sell Macs with its own processors by next year

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

What you need to know

  • Bloomberg says that Apple wants to start selling Macs with Apple-designed chips next year.
  • Apple is reportedly working on 3 of its own processors.
  • These are based on Apple's A14, due to feature in the iPhone 12.

Apple is planning to begin selling Macs with its own main processors as early as next year, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report states:

Apple Inc. is planning to start selling Mac computers with its own main processors by next year, relying on designs that helped popularize the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the matter. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on three of its own Mac processors, known as systems-on-a-chip, based on the A14 processor in the next iPhone. The first of these will be much faster than the processors in the iPhone and iPad, the people said.

The report claims that Apple plans to release "at least one Mac with its own chip next year", but that multiple chips are in development. They are apparently codenamed Kalamata.

The chips will reportedly be built by Apple supplier TSMC, and be based on its 5nm architecture, the same due to feature in Apple's iPhone 12, and the next iPad Pro.

The report states:

Apple is designing more of its own chips to gain greater control over the performance of its devices and differentiate them from rivals. Getting Macs, iPhones, and iPads running the same underlying technology should make it easier for Apple to unify its apps ecosystem and update its computers more often. The move would also reduce reliance on Intel, which has struggled to maintain the annual increases in performance it once offered.

The details

The report claims that the first Mac processors will feature eight high-performance cores, and are codenamed Firestorm. Four cores will be energy-efficient cores (codename Icestorm). Apple is also reportedly working on 12-core chips too. That could mean doubling or even quadrupling the number of cores in current Macs, like the MacBook Air. These chips will reportedly be Arm-based, as plenty of previous reports have suggested.

The report also suggests that the first in-house processor will likely debut in a new MacBook because the first offerings won't be powerful enough for high-powered models.

The shift may also be delayed because of current work-from-home orders and disruption caused by COVID-19.

The report further notes that Apple will continue to use macOS on its MacBooks and that Apple also plans to ditch Intel's 5G modems in its smartphones, moving instead to Qualcomm models in the next iPhone lineup, pegged for release later this year.

You can read the full report here.

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