Apple Inc is planning to use its own chips in Mac computers beginning as early as 2020, replacing processors from Intel Corp, according to people familiar with the plans.
The initiative, code named Kalamata, is still in the early developmental stages, but comes as part of a larger strategy to make all of Apple’s devices — including Macs, iPhones, and iPads — work more similarly and seamlessly together, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The project, which executives have approved, will likely result in a multi-step transition.
The shift would be a blow to Intel, whose partnership helped revive Apple’s Mac success and linked the chipmaker to one of the leading brands in electronics. Apple provides Intel with about 5 per cent of its annual revenue, according to Bloomberg supply chain analysis.
Apple could still theoretically abandon or delay the switch. The company declined to comment. Intel said, “We don’t comment on speculation about our customers.”
For Apple, the change would be a defining moment. Intel chips remain some of the only major processor components designed by others inside Apple’s product portfolio. Currently, all iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs use main processors designed by Apple and based on technology from Arm Holdings Plc. Moving to its own chips inside Macs would let Apple release new models on its own timelines, instead of relying on Intel’s processor roadmap.
“We think that Apple is looking at ways to further integrate their hardware and software platforms, and they’ve clearly made some moves in this space, trying to integrate iOS and macOS,” said Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research. “It makes sense that they’re going in this direction.”