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Apple to dump Intel in 2020 to shift Macs to in-house designed ARM-based CPUs

Apple is to dump Intel and start using its own in-house designed CPUs in its Mac desktops and laptops from 2020, according to a new report. 

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman claims that the initiative, codenamed Kalamata, is in the “early developmental stages” but has already been approved by senior executives at the company.

The report suggests that Apple could ship computers based on its own ARM-based processors as early as 2020, but notes that the move would be part of a “multi-step transition” in a larger effort to make iOS devices and Macs “work more similarly and seamlessly together.” 

This follows an earlier Bloomberg report outing Apple’s plans for a new a new platform codenamed ‘Marzipan’ that will enable Macs to run iOS apps for a more seamless experience between mobile and desktop platforms. This is scheduled to launch sometime this year, and Apple might announce more details at its WWDC conference in June.

It isn’t the first time that claims have surfaced that Apple is working on displacing Intel in its line-up of conventional desktops and laptops. Indeed, such claims have been made with increasing regulatory in recent years

In its latest report, Bloomberg adds that Apple, which has used Intel chips in its computers since shifting from Motorola in 2005, will show off a revised Mac Pro next year that will pack an Apple-developed chip similar to the T2 chip found in the iMac Pro. Other Mac laptops will receive Apple-developed chips this year, the report claims.

Intel’s stock price took a hit soon after the report was published. with Bloomberg estimating that Apple provides approximately five per cent of the chipmaker’s annual revenue. 

Stifel analyst Kevin Cassidy said in a note he believed the market was “over-reacting” to the report on Apple’s plans and that Intel’s prospects remained good.

“We do not expect any other PC manufacturers will consider designing its own CPUs,” he said.

It is also a shift fraught with risk for Apple and the company could still theoretically abandon or delay the switch, the report notes. However, Intel declined to comment on the report. 

Although Apple is said to be ditching Intel as its supplier for Mac chips, the firm will reportedly make the chipmaker its sole supplier of cellular modems for its 2018 iPhones, eliminating its reliance on Qualcomm.

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year that “Intel will be the exclusive supplier of baseband chip for 2H18 new iPhone models, while Qualcomm may not have a share of the orders at all.”

According to Kuo, Intel can meet Apple’s technical requirements and offers more competitive prices. The modem which Apple may be using is Intel’s XMM 7560 modem which supports 4×4 MIMO technology.

This move comes amid escalating tensions between Apple and Qualcomm. One of the firms’ most recent legal squabbles saw the chipmaker accuse Apple of sharing proprietary code with Intel, including confidential information about its chips. 

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