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Future MacBooks will share a key iPhone feature: Report

Apple will release its first ARM powered Mac computer within the next year, according to a fresh report.

The news broke via 9to5Mac on Tuesday, which reported getting wind of the plan via industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

According to Kuo, who has a strong track record predicting Apple’s plans, the iPhone maker is working hard to replace Intel chips with custom ARM CPUs within the next 12-18 months.

Kuo claims the firm is already investing in new custom 5nm ARM-based chips that will initially be used in the hotly rumoured iPhone 12 family of phones this year before rolling out to Macs.

The news would make sense. Apple has been making and using ARM chips in its iPhones and iPads for quite a few years to great effect. The custom Apple-made A-series chips generally offer fantastic performance and are bespoke made to work with the device’s iOS software.

Kuo indicated Apple is waiting before rolling out the new ARM chip to Macs to give developers time to tweak their wares to work with the new hardware.

Related: Best Macbook 2020

ARM chips are based on an entirely different architecture to Intel’s. This means unoptimised applications designed for Intel chips won’t work correctly on PCs running ARM CPUs.

This was a key issue when we reviewed the Microsoft Surface Pro X last year. The Surface Pro X uses a custom Microsoft SQ, ARM chip that on paper is impressive. But with real world use we found it was marred with compatibility and performance issues.

The ARM report is one of many rumoured changes being made to Apple’s Mac line. Industry rumblings suggest the company is also working hard to improve its MacBook’s keyboards.

The firm moved back to using scissor switches on its last MacBook Pro 16-inch after widespread complaints about its newer butterfly switches. There are also rumblings it’s working on a new 14-inch MacBook Pro.