Apple Inc.’s 15-year relationship with Intel Corp. will officially begin to unwind next week when new Mac computers are revealed.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said on Monday that it will hold an online event dubbed “One more thing” on Nov. 10. That “thing” will be Macs with main processors designed by Apple for the first time, replacing Intel chips that have been a mainstay since 2006. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Apple and overseas suppliers are ramping up production of three Mac laptops with Apple processors: new 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, according to people familiar with the matter. Foxconn, known also as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is assembling the two smaller laptops, while Quanta Computer Inc. is building the larger MacBook Pro.
The smaller models are further ahead in production and at least those two laptops will be shown at next week’s event. Beyond the processor switch, the devices won’t have significant design changes.
The first Mac processors from Apple will be based on the A14 chip found in the latest iPhones and iPad Air, and tests inside Apple indicate improved power efficiency over the Intel parts they are replacing. The new machines will also have Apple-designed graphics and machine-learning processors.
Apple said in June that the transition away from Intel chips will take two years. After updating its laptop line, Apple will still have until 2022 to update desktop computers — the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro and Mac mini — with its own processors.
The company is already at work on a redesigned iMac, the company’s all-in-one desktop, and a new Mac Pro model, Apple’s highest-end desktop, other people familiar with the company’s plans said.
Apple engineers are currently developing a new Mac Pro that looks like the current design at about half the size. It’s unclear if that Mac will replace the current Mac Pro or if it’s an additional model. Apple’s chip designs could help the company reduce the size of its computers due to increased power efficiency, but the current Mac Pro is large, in part, to fit components like additional storage drives and graphics chips.
Apple’s test Mac for developers to write apps for the new processors is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro processor, but the company will still need to roll out a proper update to that model with a Mac-specific chip. The new Macs require macOS Big Sur, a redesigned Mac operating system that makes the software more like iPhones and iPads.