At last month’s WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch MacBook Pro could be the first Mac to get an Arm-based chip designed by Apple. In March, Kuo predicted this new MacBook Pro will launch late in 2020 or early in 2021.
In a research note with TF International Securities today, seen by MacRumors, Kuo said he expects the Apple Silicon 13.3-inch MacBook Pro to go into mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, but he also now predicts we will see an Arm-based MacBook Air either in the same quarter or in the first quarter of next year.
Kuo still believes that Apple intends to launch a mini-LED 16-inch MacBook Pro and a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro, also with a mini-LED display, but these will likely arrive in the second or third quarter of 2021, and intriguingly, both will have an “all-new form factor design.” Previous rumors suggested an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro could arrive this year in October or November.
We predict that Apple will launch new MacBook models including the new 13.3-inch MacBook Pro equipped with the Apple Silicon in 4Q20, the new MacBook Air equipped with the Apple Silicon in 4Q20 or 1Q21, and new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the Apple Silicon and all-new form factor design in late 2Q21 or 3Q21.
Kuo made no mention in today’s report of the Apple Silicon iMac he previously predicted. Apple is still expected to launch a redesigned iMac this year, although it’s not expected to be an Apple Silicon machine.
In the same report, Kuo predicts that MacBook shipments in 2020 are expected to increase to 16–17 million units. Kuo also said that under optimistic circumstances, if Apple lowered the price of the new MacBook Air to reflect a cost reduction, and if demand was high for the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, shipment volume could increase significantly next year to 18-20 million units.