Apple currently uses Intel processors to power its Mac computers, but that may change according to a source who recently told Bloomberg the company is interested in using ARM-based chips. Intel processors, for their part, are more powerful than the ARM solutions out there today. Plus, applications have largely been written to run on x86 processors — hence the issue with the lack of apps for Microsfot’s ARM-based Windows RT Surface.
But Apple, Bloomberg reminds us, has focused on building its team of ARM focused engineers and could switch from Samsung, which currently provides its chips, to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Apple has not-so-secretly been moving away from its reliance on Samsung for parts recently.
Here’s where I’m baffled, though. Sure, ARM processors could allow Macs to be thinner than ever, but Intel’s chips are more powerful. I don’t see anything from ARM that competes head-to-head with Intel’s Core i7 processors, and Mac users — at least those interested in its high-end iMac systems — are known for needing demanding CPUs and GPUs for graphics-heavy tasks.
Still – maybe we’ll see Apple enter a space where it competes with Microsoft with brand new ARM-based computers that are thinner than ever, I just don’t see them being as powerful in the near term.