Skip to main content

MacBook ARM release date could come this year — here's the proof

MacBook Pro 2020 13 inch
(Image credit: Apple)

If you're in the market for a new Mac outfitted with Apple Silicon, you may want to start saving up some cash. An anonymous leaker claims the first ARM-powered Mac products will begin later this year, with additional hardware arriving in 2021.

That information, provided by tech analyst and leaker Komiya on Twitter, squares with some of the rumors we’ve heard so far about the Apple Silicon-powered Macs, including Apple’s own confirmation that its first ARM-based system will ship this year. But there are still some interesting tidbits in the leaked timeline. 

If Komiya's information ends up being correct, the first series of Silicon Macs could very well be the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro models, set for a potential release during an upcoming Apple fall event. (Not the one where Apple’s releasing the iPhone 12 — this is a different rumored event.) Other ARM-based Macs are reportedly set for 2021 and beyond, according to Komiya’s tweeted timeline.

See more

Even then, the transition to Apple Silicon won’t be total for another year. Komiya believes that Apple will also release at least a partial ARM refresh of the iMac as well as the MacBook Pro 16 in 2021, meaning that Apple will likely sell both Intel-based and ARM versions of each device simultaneously. 

Following that, the plan is likely for Apple to discontinue the sales of any Intel-powered MacBook Pro 16 and iMac models by 2022. That year, it's planned that Apple will release new ARM-powered versions of the iMac Pro and Mac Pro. 

There's also the matter of a new Mac mini, which Komiya believes will arrive in either 2021 or 2021. Previously, Apple had indicated that it was looking to complete its transition to ARM chipsets within the span of two years

Previously, Komiya took to Twitter to suggest that the entry-level MacBook with an ARM-based processor would cost around $799, and the MacBook Pro 13-inch might run around $1099, both around $200 cheaper than what buyers are paying for entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch models. 

Of course, this is all hearsay for the moment, as Apple has yet to make any official announcements beyond disclosing its Apple Silicon plans back in June at the Worldwide Developer Conference. We're still waiting for confirmation of any fall event to show off Apple hardware, including the rumored iPhone 12 launch.

If you’re in the market for a Mac laptop, it may be worth it to hold on for another month or two to see if the the 12-inch MacBook or 13-inch MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon materialize as rumored. Otherwise, set aside that cash for a 2021 Mac shopping spree.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.