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Apple’s WWDC will be one of the most important in years

Apple expects major changes to the inside of its computers.

Óscar Gutierrez / CNET

People are often obsessed with the designs of Apple products: their smooth glass panes, the aluminum and stainless steel edges, and the colorful designs. However, one of Apple’s most striking design changes may be inside rather than outside.

Apple is expected to announce plans on Monday to stop using Intel chips as a processing brain for its Mac computers. Instead, it would switch to its own chips, using the same foundation as its A-series processors that have been powering iPhones and iPads since 201


The announcement is expected to be made in a keynote speech Apple’s worldwide developer conference opensor WWDC starting on Monday. The event is to be kept completely online in the middle of Corona virus Pandemic that has caused governments around the world to order people to stay at home, cancel events, and temporarily close shops. Apple is also expected to announce new updates for Apple iOS Software for iPhone, MacOS software for Mac computers, iPadOS for tablets and WatchOS for Apple Watch.

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Why Apple could throw Intel overboard in new Macs


However, the move from Intel to its own chips will draw most of the attention in the coming years, given the seismic directional direction of computers and the impact on development. Mobile processors are said to be more energy efficient, always have features available in a smartphone, and work better with cellular capabilities, even if there are questions about their ability to power a full-fledged computer and sophisticated programs. Later, the relocation could result in Apple eventually merging its iOS and MacOS platforms because they would run on the same chip designs, although the company often said that this won’t happen.

For many Apple watchers, the move away from Intel was a matter of course. Apple has been campaigning for the performance of its A-series chips for years, and 2019 argued that the A13 Bionic chip for the iPhone 11 was the most powerful chip ever in a phone.

“Our chips developed by Apple have been industry leaders for years,” said Kaiann Drance, now Vice President Marketing at Apple.

Now Apple’s chips are expected to start Powering his laptops to.

After a long expected time

The move, which has been rumored for years, takes a decade and a half after Apple has partnered with Intel to replace IBM chips for powering its computers. In 2020, Apple is also a much larger company, at the heart of an ecosystem of app developers that represent multi-billion dollar sales and tens of thousands of jobs.

Many analysts agree that switching chips from Apple makes strategic sense. Moving from Apple can better optimize technology for the devices, which is likely to provide products with a more consistent experience. It will also help Apple potentially include 5G wireless in his computers because the technology behind his A-series chips is so deeply intertwined with cellular capabilities.

However, Apple’s postponement is coming as the company is under intense scrutiny by both its developer community and regulators around the world. Apple has strong control over its App Store for Mac and iPhone, which largely protects its devices from hackers and fraudsters who create fake apps. But it has also been involved in public debates with developers whose apps are disapproved for trying to replace Apple’s own programs, working in a way that the company doesn’t allow, or trying to make money without Apple part of it To give proceeds.

These developers, including Spotify and enterprise productivity company Basecamp, have caught the attention of industry influencers and government regulators who are debating whether the company is monopolistic.

“Because of Apple’s market power, exorbitant rents – basically highway robbery – are being levied to harass people, pay 30%, or deny access to their market,” said New York Democrat David Cicilline, chairman of the House’s subcommittee for Antitrust law announced The Verge on Thursday. “This is a direct result of the enormous market power, the fact that Apple is the gatekeeper.”

The The European Union has also launched two investigations into Apple, including one triggered by a Spotify’s complaint about the high fees that the technology giant charges fees and another reference to the restrictions Apple is imposing on developers to let them know about payment options that are cheaper outside of the app.

Apple's A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

Apple’s A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

Regardless of what’s happening outside of Apple, working inside the company to transition from Intel will take years. And the company has to convince its loyal fans that the move is worthwhile.

“It’s a non-trivial task,” said Bob O’Donnell, a longtime technology analyst, now at Technalysis Research. He estimates that it will take Apple about 18 months to say the transition is complete, and probably longer for its $ 5,000 high-end desktop computers like that Mac Pro.

The company may allow developers to rent a computer with Apple-designed chips, but it likely won’t sell these new computers to the public until next year.

“It will take years to make the move successful,” said O’Donnell.


Apple’s MacBooks can benefit most from the company’s new chips.

Óscar Gutierrez / CNET

Worth it

In 2005, when Apple last changed the processing brains of its computers, both the company and its development partners did a lot of coding work to translate the apps that spoke the “binary” language for IBM’s chips into the code they needed Intel’s chips used.

For most industry observers at this time, the move obviously made sense. Intel’s chips offered better battery life and faster performance than the IBM chips used by Apple. Ultimately, Apple was able to use its collaboration with Intel to build computers like the super-thin MacBook Air, which made competing laptops offer thinner, lighter, and better-looking devices.


When Steve Jobs first demonstrated the MacBook Air, it was the thinnest laptop in the industry.


“It’s great technology,” said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs when he talked about the small size and fast performance of the first MacBook Air chips in 2008. At that time, Apple marketed the device as the thinnest notebook in the world with little compromise.

This time it’s more difficult to pull the layer through.

Mobile chips are more energy efficient and enable even leaner designs. In contrast to Intel processors, Apple’s iPhone and iPad chips have not yet proven to be powerful enough for desktop and laptop computers. And although technology giant Microsoft and other companies have built laptops that run on mobile chips, most PCs run on Intel.

Apple is also a very different company from 2005. Back then, there was no iPhone. Apple had annual sales of just $ 14 billion, which was mainly carried by Mac computers. The iPod, which was to lead Apple’s renaissance, accounted for about 33% of the company’s sales at that time.

Fast forward to the time when Apple’s sales have increased almost 19 times. Every step it takes now has a much bigger impact on its much larger customer base and the huge ecosystem of developers who have developed apps and accessories for its products.

“Apple has to show what’s in it for users and what’s for developers,” he said Patrick Moorhead, Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy and former chip manager at Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices.

Still, he said, it is likely that the technology industry’s trust in web-based apps such as the Slack Messenger service, Evernote note taking online, and Google’s G Suite online productivity apps will ease the transition, since they are designed for almost every device.

The bigger benefits can be across the board. Since both MacOS and iOS run on the same processor platform, Apple has the option to merge the two, or at least to promote developers to create an app that is easier to run on multiple products.


CNET editors praised the iPhone SE for $ 399 for its powerful A13 Bionic chip.

Angela Lang / CNET

More trains

While Apple’s public separation from Intel may start at WWDC on Monday, this isn’t the only thing people will be looking for.

The biggest rumored changes affect iPhones and iPads, for which Apple may be able to do more customization of the home screen, better multitasking, and better augmented reality technology. The AR technology that uses the camera and screen of a phone or tablet to overlay computer-generated images in the real world is said to be a first step for Apple to announce AR-enabled glasses sometime this year.

It is also rumored that the company is ready to launch new iMac desktop computers with more powerful Intel chips to surprise users until they switch to their own chips next year.

The company may even announce that its previously canceled AirPower charging mat may be ready to be released if rumors are suspected.

The CNET global team will report on Apple’s event and other conferences that have moved online. Our reporting includes the real-time updates, comments and analysis that you can only get here.

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