Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in Macs — Why that’s a big deal

Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in Macs — Why that’s a big deal

CNBC’s Josh Lipton reports that Apple will no longer use Intel chips and will use its own, instead. With CNBC’s Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Guy Adami, Tim Seymour, Steve Grasso and Karen Finerman.

Apple is reportedly planning to announce plans to power its Mac computers with its own processors instead of Intel chips, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The announcement may come during Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC 2020, which begins June 22.

Apple’s switch away from Intel has been expected for years, but the move would still be a big deal.

It means that Apple can build its computers without waiting for Intel to develop a new processor. It also helps Apple stand out from competitors in the laptop market, such as HP, Dell, Samsung, Microsoft and others that use the same Intel chips. If Apple builds a more powerful processor, it might attract consumers away from competing brands.

Intel declined to comment to CNBC on the report. Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on the report.

Shares of Intel were down about 1.5% in pre-market trading on the news, but here’s why this matters for Apple.

Why this is a big deal

Apple announced back in 2005 that it would switch over to Intel chips for its Macs beginning in 2006, and would transition all Macs to Intel chips by 2007. Before that, Apple used PowerPC chips to power its Macs. PowerPC was a computing architecture created by Apple, IBM and Motorola.

But, in that original announcement, Apple’s CEO at the time, Steve Jobs, seemed to have the foresight that it would eventually move on from Intel. “We think Intel’s technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next 10 years,” Jobs said.

It’s been 15 years since Jobs’ comments and, more recently, Apple has proven that it has the capabilities to build its own powerful processors, which are used in all of its iPhones and iPads. Apple designs its own chips based on an architecture called ARM, which is used to design processors in most mainstream smartphones and tablets.

Those devices have been shown to have great battery life — lasting the better part of a day or longer depending on what you’re doing. And Apple can easily add in cellular connectivity, something it hasn’t done with any of its Mac computers in the past. One reason: In my experience, cellular chips typically quickly drain battery life when paired with a traditional laptop processor. But, if Apple makes both the modem and the processor, it can optimize them to work better together.

Apple currently uses Qualcomm modems in its iPads and iPhones for connections to cellular networks. But last year it bought Intel’s 5G business, putting it in a position to build its own modems and end its reliance on third-party providers.

Again, like with Intel, this means Apple wouldn’t need to wait for other parties to prepare their chips. When Apple is ready, it can go to the market with new products.

Bloomberg reported that Apple may not roll out its first Macs with ARM-based Apple chips until 2021. But announcing the switch several months early will give developers more time to learn how to bring their software over to the new processor. Apple made a similar move before it started selling Macs with Intel chips by giving developers several months to make sure their software was ready for the new laptops.

This is one area that could get a little messy.

Today’s Mac apps were designed to run on Intel chips, but Apple’s macOS Catalina software, which powers Macs and was released in October 2019, includes Apple’s Catalyst technology. It allows developers to bring iPad and iPhone apps to the Mac. One area Apple will need to discuss, however, is how developers who have written apps only for the Mac will be able to port those over to the new chips too. In theory, it should be easier for developers to make apps that run across all Apple devices once they’re all powered by the same chips.

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  1. J P on September 10, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve always loved Intel, but they need to get it together.

  2. TheTheratfarmer on September 10, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    aapl break’s off with intc? what? why with intc to start with? i don’t like amd or aaple mpu’s.

  3. Breeze Smith on September 10, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    So my $6000 Mac Pro will become a paperweight?? AGAIN?!?!?

  4. Power Napster on September 10, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    They have not a clue about apple’s chip-dominance with ARM technology. The A-series chips dance circles around the competition. Their chip-team is orders of magnitude ahead. This is huge. The moat just got bigger.

  5. A. Ali on September 10, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    They will buy ifons like crazy mama ….. all else they wont touch with a shi8 stick …..

  6. jacques gall on September 10, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    intel is a thief

  7. Jerry Sze on September 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    the semiconductor industry maker “tam” of TAIWAN may keep on pending and put on hold to creates factory in USA to wait and see depending on presidential election to makes decisions . they hope Democrats wins presidential elections, then the situation will be totally change , they can makes a better deal with Democrats for under the situation of allow them to do business with huawei . therefore, the “tam”and Democrats can rescue huawei to becomes leader of technology company in the world,they will do the fireworks for two weeks to celebrate in a row for president trump’s efforts will inflows into ocean . I think it’s not Americans wanted to see.

  8. 洋蔥漫談 The Onion Talk on September 10, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Well done

  9. Simon Hill on September 10, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    How are they ever going to compete with AMD chips inside PC’s for real work?!

  10. Chris Collingwood on September 10, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    POET tech will blow them all away.

  11. TheTheratfarmer on September 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    i stop viewing this interview at .35. love the show and network, thanks.

  12. Football Dreamer on September 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Apple looks too good to be true as stock. Its like the go to stock for Americans.

  13. Jomh on September 10, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    But what about the one who the one how buy in the time

  14. JR FURY on September 10, 2021 at 1:23 pm


  15. Chris Chris on September 10, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    *Own Apple don’t trade it!*

  16. Christian Burris on September 10, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    GOOD. Intel has fallen behind.

  17. moe raff on September 10, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    I am buying less apple products. Just my mac book air
    . I’m buying Samsung phones now. No more I max. Or I pad.

  18. Jim Bob's Arcade on September 10, 2021 at 1:25 pm


  19. Mip Map on September 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    In short, I will buy TSMC instead of AMD and Nvidia.

  20. Car Tunes: Music Videos for Car Guys on September 10, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Yeah….. If Apple was smart — they would have switched to AMD processors. If they think ARM is good enough for their Mac Pro’s — they are as dumb as it gets. ARM processors barely can keep up with low end x86 stuff right now.

  21. Tony Tone on September 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    *She was getting high in the basement with her son and friends before the show.*

  22. Jim Bob's Arcade on September 10, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Apple can try and laughably they will not fail even though they will fail let me explain.
    People that use apple don’t use their brain when they use a computer.
    Apple will make subpar chips for the need of the market.
    Intel makes chips for whatever the market needs.

  23. Mahee Gunturu on September 10, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    The cheaper Iphone does not have 5G – clearly everything is overpriced – this is the new normal…. get over it.

  24. liquidity on September 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    i am up 140% since i bought in q4 2018 🙂

  25. benpeh47 on September 10, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    could be they building a base platform to support self driving cars.

  26. Matt R. on September 10, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Apple has gone so far downhill since Steve Jobs died. Their products are stale and can’t compete with Android.

  27. julie wdavis on September 10, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Both companies have a high rated name and should branch off browsing their moves extra smoothly but staying centered on the denand of now with covic19. Equipping their businesses better with a more broader sector. Advancing in what’s more hot and in demand today far as electronics.Even connecting with other greater companies in that field and establish a new name in this more modeten age of electronics.

  28. M. Morin Investor on September 10, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Does it have to do with Qualcomm?

  29. Absolute Longplay on September 10, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    They can switch to Ryzen but optimizing every program for ARM is a pipe dream for any near future.

  30. Todd M on September 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Gee prices going to drop because I cannot afford even a seed of that Apple.?

  31. JOMAC on September 10, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    🟡 Let’s be real here, Intel has been shipping the same OLD 14nm processors since 2014.
    🟡AMD and other suppliers are down to 7nm even 5nm at this point
    At their current rate for innovation, Intel is even lucky to have some customers

  32. Kitty S on September 10, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Intel: Backdoor Inside. 🌚 Intel Management Engine.

  33. George Georgiadis on September 10, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    What will happen to all software that run on intel chips? would the new apple chips be able to run that software?

  34. Daniel Lopez on September 10, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Swear intel had bean counters leading the firm and not expierenced engineers. This could have been avoided. They also went on a massive semiconductor plant spree. Their days are soon numbered. This company will be sent to the chopping block. Lay off a ton of workers. CEOs will get bonuses and it will be sold a disappear completely from the market and then other revolutionary companies with completely new technologies reach hold. Then a bunch of other companies follow either to prosperity or bankruptcy. Then America falls behind that it becomes more evident that such is the way of free markets. Its actually winner determines all.

  35. Tony Tone on September 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Why do you have a mask on dude? So you don’t infect America throught the TV?

  36. J P on September 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    RIP speed.

  37. C on September 10, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Intel is the best processor company there is, just a fact. AMD is the budget processor company.

  38. Tom Servo on September 10, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    RIP Virtualbox , Steam, and the few docker images I use that are x86 only

  39. drkita on September 10, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Lots of people run Windows on a mac because not enough software is available for MAC OS. If that is not possible anymore, this may be negative.

  40. John on September 10, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Another dumb dumb popular phrase. "With that said!!!" I guess people just like to mimic other people.
    This is as much annoying as the other popular dumb phrase, "That’s a Great Question" and "That’s a Good Question!!!"
    Both sound so dumb and annoying.

  41. The Dude on September 10, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Good luck competing against AMD .

  42. Madhavi on September 10, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    This is real breaking . lol

  43. ObsoleteBoomerMobile Obsolete on September 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    What is absurd is the fact that not a single person on this video call has a sufficiently advanced technical background to make a meaningful conversation about a topic that is incredibly technical in nature.

    We’ve got the blind leading the blind here.

  44. Vintage Swiss on September 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    AMD has Ryzen kicking ass… Apple is ditching the i-series…

    RiP Intel market dominance…

  45. Don Lamaack on September 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Good luck apple users, another move by apple to take away your ability to self repair and upgrade.

  46. ManInTheBigHat on September 10, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Melissa didn’t do her homework.

  47. David on September 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Apple drunk on their hype… beginning of the end

  48. Emily Allstot on September 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    I think that’s just the CPU.

  49. cdx cdx on September 10, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    #eattherich #generalstrike #defundthepolice

  50. Mahdi on September 10, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    As someone who works in Tech this is actually been a year or two coming and the writing was on the wall for x86 processors in general. I think AMD can still thrive off simply the magnitude of their high core CPU’s but eventually ARM based processors will give you nearly the same performance for 1/8th of the power consumption and heat output of an equivalent x86 Intel CPU>
    This is the value proposition, especially in the datacenter.

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