Apple may release its very first ARM-based laptop without an Intel processor as soon as next year, according to reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac). Kuo, who often correctly predicts Apple trends before they take shape, says the new Mac is coming sometime in the next 12 to 18 months and will feature an in-house processor not developed by Intel.
Kuo made a similar prediction in 2018, shortly after a series of news reports published roughly two years ago first said Apple would be ditching Intel CPUs to focus on its own custom-built processors based on the ARM architecture. So it looks like that original Kuo prediction is holding for a 2021 release date.
Apple has never fully confirmed its intentions to drop Intel for Mac CPUs, but its job postings and key hires over the last few years have strongly hinted at its intentions to build desktop and laptop chips of its own, like it started doing with the iPhone. That way, it can reduce its dependence on third parties. ARM is the foundation of Apple’s custom Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone chips, and the company has been aggressively staffing up in the ARM design department to solidify its plans for more in-house component creation.