Every such consideration of the future probably has a few extra dimensions. First, it won’t happen. Second, it will happen. Third, something else will happen. I’m going with what’s behind door #3, Monte.
Sand To Silicon
Years ago I read that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs envisioned a factor where sand at one end of the factory was turned into finished Macs at the other end. If only it were so easy. Supply chains are complicated beasts. Apple has changed silicon a few times through the years and managed to stay in business with Intel Inside the Mac.
The rumor that won’t die is that Intel is on the way Outside, with Mac CPUs replaced by Apple’s own designs. Think Door #3. Something else will happen. What about the other doors?
Door #1: Intel has a few problems that Apple seems to have overcome in recent years thanks to a chip design team that loves challenges and takes delight in building better designs. Intel cannot make their Inside chips as small as, say, Samsung or Qualcomm or TSMC (Apple’s current A12 Bionic maker). Intel’s chipmaking roadmap has become an Intel Inside industry joke. Yes, most Intel chips are more powerful than we need, but that’s not the point. Today’s devices require power sipping capability, not a turbo boost that can make you type faster.
Door #2: It’s wrong to think that kicking Intel Outside to the curb is wrong. It could happen. I think it will happen because Apple’s iPhone Xs and Xs Max have mid-range PC notebook power already, so, why not differentiate the Mac even more with a low power, always on, light and ready Mac for the masses?
It could happen, and that leads to the obvious conclusion:
Door #3: Yes, it will happen, but Apple will not ditch everything Intel Inside. Instead, expect the first Apple-designed chips to show up in a Mac at the entry-level– Mac mini, MacBook Air, et al. Why? Because even Apple’s advanced chip design pale in comparison to the raw horsepower coming out of Intel’s Xeon factory– chips that power iMac Pro, Mac Pro, maybe a future Mac Pro.
So, don’t expect an announcement from Apple anytime soon with news that Intel has been cast to the curb. If it happens, and I think it will, Apple will start with a new model with Apple Inside and as their own designs improve in performance, perhaps make their way into other Mac models. It could happen. It should happen. It will happen.
Not this week, and not all at once.