According to the renowned industry sources of Digitimes, Pegatron is about to obtain orders from Apple to produce an ARM MacBook. This comes after our news from last week stating that Pegatron is circulating a similar iPad/MacBook hybrid device.
There are currently few details, but it seems that some device running macOS and using iOS processors is in the works. The 12-inch MacBook series would be the most likely starter for an ARM Mac transition because it pushes great performance in a fanless form factor with long battery life.
While the Apple chip team continues to deliver best-in-class A-series CPUs for iPads and iPhones, there has long been a rumour that Apple will convert to ARM chips for its laptops. It appears that Apple may pull it off, at least for its lower-end MacBook line, given that the iPad Pro’s performance is superior to that of many PC laptops on raw benchmarks.
An LTE-integrated touchscreen laptop gadget under the codename “Star” was the subject of a story by 9to5Mac. The reporting from Digitimes seems to pound the same note:
Industry insiders claim that the Pegatron is expected to receive orders from Apple to build an ARM-based MacBook model with the codename Star and series number N84.
There has been significant debate about the N84 codename especially because some media claim that the N84 gadget is the low-cost iPhone X that is expected to make its debut later this year.
Whilst has been misinterpreted at some point, it appears like Apple is genuinely considering making a significant update to its MacBook range. It’s unclear if the hybrid laptop will use macOS, iOS, or some other operating system entirely. According to our findings, its firmware has an EFI boot mechanism, which is a typical feature of a Mac product as opposed to iOS devices, which rely on iBoot.
According to the most recent speculations, they will include a touchscreen, SIM card slot, GPS, compass, and water-resistant shell, which would indicate a completely different form factor than the MacBook Air or MacBook. According to the reports, a small number of these gadgets have reportedly been produced by Apple partner Pegatron and delivered to the business’s headquarters in Cupertino.
Going back a decade
Given Apple’s past, the forecast of another CPU architectural change is not particularly surprising. Internally at Apple, the switch to PowerPC CPUs began in 1991; the consumer transition followed a little more than two years later. A move to the Intel CPUs occurred around five years after the company started producing Mac OS X binaries for those processors.
There have long been more specific reports that Apple intends to move away from x86 and towards its proprietary silicon. There have been rumours at least since the IT giant bought chip manufacturer PA Semi for a rumoured $278 million in 2008.
In 2011, a report suggested Apple will release a desktop version of its 64-bit ARM platform within one to two years. This rumour was allegedly supported by a 2013 investment in a chip manufacturing facility. That rumour was untrue, as had been the case with the rest up to that moment.
Late in 2010, Apple launched a determined attempt to expand its CPU design team. This endeavour lasted for years and involved waves of poaching, including former Texas Instruments employees, as well as new acquisitions like Passif, a manufacturer of efficient chipsets.
Other significant actions include the acquisition of a chip fabrication facility formerly held by Maxim and the building of SoC-related R&D centres in Israel and other countries.