MacBook ARM prices just leaked — and they’re shockingly cheap

12 inch MacBook
(Image credit: Getty Images/Future Publishing)

We've debated over the ARM MacBook pricing here at Tom's Guide, and apparently we weren't thinking low enough. A new leak suggests the first ARM MacBook and MacBook Pro will be some of Apple's cheapest laptops in years. 

This news comes from @Komiya_jp, a leaker who just recently spat out the entire Apple Fall 2020 product release schedule. According to them, the first ARM MacBook will cost $799 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro released alongside it (presumably also running Apple Silicon) will be $1,099.

As if to say these numbers aren't perfect or set in stone, Komiya put the ~ mark next to each price, along with the note "(*idk about the exact price)."

But these prices are $200 off each of the current Intel MacBook Air ($999) and 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,299) prices. If true, Apple's definitely found that it's much cheaper to make its own A-series Apple Silicon chips than to buy Intel's from them. 

The price drop makes sense for more than just the fact that Apple's making its own chips. Apple will want its big Apple Silicon rollout to be a massive success, and lowering the prices of its laptops — to rates that we'd love if they were sale prices for its existing Macs — is a way to garner a lot of attention. 

It would also place Apple in territory it hasn't played around in for years, with a sub-$800 MacBook. 

But I'm still wondering why Komiya refers to the ARM MacBook without mentioning the Air branding, while still referring to the other model as a MacBook Pro. It's been suggested that Apple will likely produce as few variations of its Apple Silicon chips for its laptops as possible, possibly just using one for 13-inch MacBooks and multiple for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. 

MacBook ARM battery life

The ARM MacBook, then, could be a significant redesign of Apple's existing MacBook Air, or (possibly) a rebirth of its discontinued 12-inch MacBook. And now we're seeing more evidence this could be the case.

Wccftech is reporting on a leak on the 12-inch MacBook battery. It is said to have a capacity of 4,380 mAh, which translates to 49.9WHr. This is the same capacity as the current MacBook Air. The leak comes from @the_tech_guy on Twitter and @komiya_kj says this is for the Apple Silicon MacBook 2020.

The MacBook Air lasted a very good 9 hours 31 minutes in our web surfing battery test with an Intel processor. So we would expect a considerably longer runtime from an ARM-based Mac with Apple Silicon.

Either way, we expect ARM MacBooks to offer better battery life than current MacBooks, as well as likely speed increases against previous Intel chipsets. Compatibility issues are reportedly a non-problem, thanks to Rosetta 2 emulation.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.