… transition to Apple-designed processors based on the ARM architecture. It was easy in 2006, it wouldn’t be that simple in 2021.
Ampere shows us that the ARM architecture can yield the class of chips a Mac Pro would need. And, as it happens, the chips are manufactured by TSMC, the same company that makes Apple’s Axx processors.
So, again in Theory, an ARM-ed Mac Pro is technically possible. But there’s a final problem (again, from a previous MN):
“…the Pro’s sales volume is likely to be in the tens of thousands, not the iPhone’s hundreds of millions. For the Pro, Intel’s high-end designs will be economically more attractive, sharing the investment with other Intel clients.”
Why invest in the development of such a high-end chip for Mac Pro’s low volume? To which an armchair (spontaneous pun) product strategist might say that a lower-powered version of a hypothetical Ampere chip would soon find its way — and an economical justification — in the iMac or Mac mini. All will be well; Apple will take a “rolling fork” hit, but all Macs will be ARM-powered.
Today, the Mac line represents a little less than 8% of Apple total revenue. How much of a temporary revenue disturbance would Apple be willing to endure in order to secure an ARM future for its iconic personal computer? Could the iPad’s rising revenue (6.5% of total) help cover the hit once its user interface (and keyboard with trackpad) makes it more laptop-like?
I, of course, have no idea but this one: ARM-ing the Mac is easier said than done, regardless of its intuitive desirability.