Apple is reportedly on track to upgrade most of its MacBook models to its own chips by next year. Long-time analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims in his latest research note that Apple is developing an ARM-based MacBook Air and could launch it by the end of this year.
Kuo expects an updated 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon to go into series production in the fourth quarter of this year. A new MacBook Air will also arrive in the same period or in the first quarter of next year. None of these elements show visual changes and largely show improvements under the hood.
Kuo also confirmed some of his previous predictions. These first ARM-based Macs will soon be followed by a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with a redesigned design and an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro. They will be equipped with Apple Silicon and the alleged mini-LED displays, a new technology that enables a more vivid and accurate screen quality. However, Kuo adds that these will not arrive before at least the second or third quarter of 2021.
The report does not update the upcoming iMac with a “brand new form factor design” and 24-inch display. In another research report last month, Kuo predicted that a revised 24-inch iMac would be launched sometime in the third quarter of this year and that Apple would shortly be offering an ARM variant in the first half of 2021.
According to Kuo, Apple is also reportedly working on a mysterious, redesigned MacBook that will go into mass production in the second half of 2021. It is believed to be the long-rumored 12-inch MacBook that some reports have suggested in the past.
At its WWDC virtual developer conference last month, Apple announced that the launch of the first line of ARM-based Macs is expected later this year, and plans to complete the switch to its own processors by the end of 2021. Apple hasn't released specific numbers to say how fast its ARM chips are really compared to their Intel counterparts, but Kuo believes these early ARM Macs will offer a 50-100% increase in performance. The Cupertino, California-based company has already started to provide developers with special ARM-based Mac Mini-Kits so that they can optimize their apps before the new Macs land.