With new technologies and a plan for developers, the transition for Apple to turn the MacOS hardware away from Intel to ARM processors is set to accelerate at WWDC later this month. Having developers switch over is essential, but with regards to next year’s ARM-powered MacBook and MacBook Pro computers, that is a bigger question.
How do radical ARM-powered laptops attract consumers? You need to look at the current leaks for this and think about why people are buying new laptops.
For almost a decade, the MacBook concept was preserved in amber. Although the notebooks have all gotten thinner and lighter, the lack of design and feature updates is evident. The only noticeable change was the removal of the physical function keys and their substitution by the touch bar.
It promised a lot, including a second display on your laptop and the first touch-sensitive monitor available under MacOS, which was released in 2016. Yet the promise has never been delivered on, either by third-party developers or by Apple itself, and others see it as a gimmick.
The latest upgrades to MacBook Air and MacBook Pro saw a lukewarm response to the hardware and softwareexcept for the keyboard. Replacing the awkward and unreliable butterfly keyboard with a scissor-switched ‘Magic’ keyboard attracted massive sums of support and optimism for the laptops for 2020. But that’s a card Apple can only play once, and now it has been burned.
One of the unique challenges of selling an ARM-powered MacBook is you can’t focus on ‘it’s using an ARM processor’ to market it beyond the highly involved geekerati. With a switch to ARM, Apple’s goal is to make the transition as invisible as possible.
Intel’s switch to ARM is a bold move for developers and the geekerati. Across more concrete ways, the general population can see radical changes. Apple has a chance to significantly redefine its laptop experience for everyone, and to move it out for the next decade.