MacBook ARM leak just revealed bad news

MacBook Pro 2020 13 inch
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple might not release its ARM-based MacBook Pro laptops this year as it may not have the hardware ready in time for a September or October launch, 

That’s according to tech tipster Komiya on Twitter, who noted that there will be no Apple Silicon MacBook showcased this year, according to their sources. 

Apple Silicon is the Cupertino company’s efforts to move its Mac machines away from relying on Intel chips and onto its own chips, based on ARM RISC architecture. Apple already creates its own A-series ARM-based chips for its iPads and iPhones, with the iPhone 11 Pro, for example, making use of the A13 Bionic chip. 

But ARM’s RISC architecture is significantly different from the x86 architecture Intel chips use. That means to get macOS and its apps running on RISC architecture will take some effort, both on the hardware and software side. This is something Microsoft learnt with the Surface Pro X which uses an ARM-based Snapdragon chip.

Currently, Apple is pushing out Mac mini machines using the A12Z chips found in the iPad Pro 2020, in order to help developers figure out how to port their apps over from x86 to RISC architecture. But that could take time, as could developing laptop and desktop-grade A-series chips.

As such, while Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 12 series and possibly the Apple Watch 6 in September, it’s not looking likely that there will be a reveal of an Apple Silicon MacBook Pro. And previous tips that suggested an ARM-based MacBook would be shown off in October could also be incorrect.

All that being said, Apple has often quietly revealed hardware refreshes with a ‘soft ‘launch’, much like it did with the iMac 27-inch 2020, which launched with no major showcase. As the rumors so far suggest Apple will use the current MacBook Pro design but swap out the Intel processors with its own chips, we could simply get our first Apple Silicon MacBook in the form of a spec refresh rather than an all-new product.

We’d suggest you apply a decent degree of scepticism to Komiya’s tweet, as there’s often a lot of different and conflicting rumors that swirl around Apple products, especially those that promise to offer something rather different to the world of tech, rather than just another iPhone or smartwatch.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.