Apple is reportedly planning a break-up with Intel. Sources familiar with the company’s plans tell Bloomberg that Apple could switch to using its own chips in Macs beginning as early as 2020.
The project, codenamed Kalamata, has already been approved by Apple executives, sources say. It’ll likely be a multi-step transition meaning Apple could start by simply switching a single model to a new processor. Such a strategy would minimize potential issues for both Apple and Intel.
Switching to its own processors seems like the logical next step for Apple. The company already uses custom-designed chips in its iPhones, iPads, Apple TV set-top box and the Apple Watch; Macs are the only products still powered by others' solutions. Switching to its own chips would critically allow Apple to launch products on its own timelines rather than having to be governed by Intel’s processor roadmap.
As Bloomberg correctly points out, the switch would also give Apple the distinction of being the only major PC maker to use its own processors. Furthermore, it would allow the Cupertino-based company to more tightly integrate hardware and software, potentially leading to improved performance and better battery life. It's an advantage Apple has enjoyed in the mobile space for years.
No matter how you slice it, the shift would be bad news for Intel. According to Bloomberg’s supply chain analysis, Apple provides Intel with around five percent of its annual revenues. Intel shares dipped by more than nine percent at one point on Monday. As of writing, shares are down 6.20 percent to $48.85.
It was reported late last year that Apple was working on a software platform codenamed Marzipan that would allow users to run iPhone and iPad apps on Macs.