Kuo: ARM-based iMac and MacBook Pro coming by the end of 2020

imac in home office
imac in home office (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Ming-Chi Kuo released a new investor note focused on Apple's ARM transition for the Mac.
  • The analyst says that the first ARM-based Macs will be the iMac and MacBook Pro.
  • Kuo predicts that the first models will be released by the end of 2020.

Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note that predicts Apple's transition to ARM for the Mac will begin with two Mac models no one would have suspected.

Reported by AppleInsider, Kuo believes that the first Macs to switch to ARM will be the 13-inch MacBook Pro and a redesigned iMac. Going further, he believes that the new models will boost performance by up to 100% when compared to the Intel chips the computers would be switching from.

"The first Macs using an Apple-designed 5-nanometer processor will be a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and a redesigned iMac, Kuo proposes, with both models anticipated to outperform their Intel equivalents by between 50% and 100%."

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is not expected to feature much of a redesign, with the only major change being the presence of an Apple custom-designed chip instead of Intel. The iMac, on the other hand, is expected to feature a new design and a 24-inch display.

"For the ARM MacBook Pro, Kuo reckons it will be similar in design to the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, albeit running on Apple's self-designed chip instead of an Intel processor ... The ARM iMac will use an "all-new form factor design," though Kuo doesn't suggest what this entails, but it will ship with a 24-inch display."

Kuo goes on to predict that Apple will completely switch to ARM for all of its Mac models in the next 18 months. He also noted an "all-new form-factor design MacBook" that will ship in 2021.

"The push for ARM chips will continue into other models, with the analyst suggesting all-new Mac models will be equipped with the chips from 2021. "We estimate that all Mac models will switch to ARM in 12-18 months," said Kuo, adding an "all-new form-factor design MacBook" model will head into mass production in the second half of 2021."

Apple is anticipated to announce a switch from Intel to ARM at WWDC today.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.