Apple has confirmed it will be launching the first Mac with Apple Silicon before the end of the year, and rumours suggest this will be a 12-inch MacBook Arm which will be lighter and more portable than any laptop in Apple’s current MacBook range.
The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is also expected to benefit from an Apple Silicon refresh before the end of the year, with updates for the rest of the MacBook family to follow in 2021 and 2022.
But what improvements will the Apple Silicon bring to MacBook laptops? By embracing Apple’s own ARM-based SoC, the MacBooks will supposedly offer improved performances and battery efficiency. It could also potentially allow for lighter and smaller designs, as seen with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Book S.
The transition to Arm will also allow Apple to establish a common architecture across the rest of its product line, including the iPhone and the iPad. By implementing similar architecture across devices, Apple will makes it easier for developers to optimise their apps for Apple products. In fact, the iPad Pro is already powered by the A12Z Bionic that MacOS Big Sur was demoed on at WWDC. The new OS promises to make the move to Apple silicon seamless for the MacBook, with all Apple apps already running as native on the SoC.
Read on for everything we know on the rumoured 12-inch MacBook Arm, and stick to Trusted Reviews for future updates.
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MacBook ARM release date – When will it launch?
The 12-inch MacBook Arm is expected to be released during Q4 2020, with 27 October rumoured to be the date that Apple reveals the new laptop.
A 13-inch MacBook Pro featuring Apple Silicon is also expected to arrive before the end of the year.
Many more MacBook ARM devices are expected to follow, with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumours) suggesting an ARM-based MacBook Air will launch in in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021, and new new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will hit stores in Q2 2021 or Q3 2021.
Apple plans to transition the entire Mac line to the Apple silicon over the next two years, though it has clarified it will continue to support existing Intel machines for the foreseeable future.
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MacBook ARM price – How much will it cost?
There is no price yet, and we won’t likely hear more until we approach the release day.
We expect the 12-inch MacBook Arm to be around the same price point as than current MacBook Air, which has a starting price of £999.
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MacBook ARM specs – What is the ARM MacBook?
While very little is confirmed for MacBook Arm, other ARM-based laptops such as the Galaxy Book S give us an idea of what to expect from future MacBooks. Potential upgrades include an increased battery life, ultra-portable designs and potential 4G support via SIM cards.
However, Apple’s chip may have some notable differences. Bloomberg reports that TSMC will manufacture a new 5-nanometer process on Apple’s behalf, following the same technique that the current iPhone and iPad devices use. The Apple silicon will make it easier for developers to transition iOS apps over to macOS, with Apple showing Monument Valley 2 running on a Mac for the first time.
Apple has suggested its own ARM-based processors will be more power efficient than the current Intel Core processors, which could potentially result in improved battery life. Reports have suggested the new MacBook Arm could see a battery life around 15 and 20 hours.
Rumours also suggest (via MacRumours) that the 12-inch MacBook Arm could feature an A14X processor condenamed ‘Tonga’ featuring 12 cores made up of eight high-performance cores and eight-energy efficient cores.
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MacBook ARM design – What will it look like?
Reports are few and far between regarding a new MacBook design. However, ARM architecture allows for a thin and light chassis.
We expect the rumoured ARM-based 13-inch MacBook Pro to be thinner and lighter than the current Intel model, although we’ll have to wait and see whether that becomes a reality. We also expect Apple to stick to the new trend of shaving down the bezel for an almost edge-to-edge screen design.
Otherwise, we don’t think there will be many huge deviations from current MacBook designs.