Much of Apple’s success in the mobile space is due to the fact that it designs its hardware and software under one roof. It’s an advantage that’ll soon be appearing in more products according to the well-connected Mark Gurman.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with the company’s plans, Gurman in a piece for Bloomberg on Monday said Apple is working on at least three updated Mac products that’ll feature custom co-processors. While no models were mentioned specifically, Gurman said the plans include updated laptops and a new desktop that could arrive as soon as this year.
Apple already has a few Macs featuring custom hardware. The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar comes equipped with Apple’s custom T1 chip for managing Touch ID and Apple Pay while the iMac Pro features the T2 chip that tackles tasks previously handled by several individual components.
As MacRumors highlights, the MacBook Air hasn’t received any meaningful updates since March 2015. Furthermore, it’s been more than 1,200 days since the Mac mini’s last refresh.
The co-processors in upcoming Mac hardware won’t replace the main Intel CPU but rather, supplement their functionality or take over tasks previously run by other hardware (and / or bolster overall system security). Eventually, however, I’m sure Apple would like to phase out the Intel chips but don't expect that to happen anytime soon.
Gurman also briefly mentioned a new iPad that’s due to launch toward the end of the year but didn’t provide any additional information about the tablet except to say that it’ll likely use the custom-designed graphics engine and AI chip the company unveiled last year.