MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with Apple Silicon will reportedly launch this year

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

The first Macs to get Apple Silicon will be the 13-inch MacBook Pro and a new MacBook Air, and they’ll arrive this year.

That’s according to Apple analyst and oracle Ming Chi-Kuo, who's latest research note for TF International Securities was seen by MacRumors. Kuo also reckons that ARM-based Apple chips will come to the 16-inch MacBook Pro and a brand-new 14.1-inch MacBook Pro in 2021. 

While Apple revealed Apple Silicon at WWDC 2020, its initiative to move away from Intel processors in its Mac machines and instead use its one custom chips based on ARM architecture, it didn’t reveal what Macs would get the new chips first.   The compmany only said that the first machines would launch this year.

Kuo has previously predicted that a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro will be one of the first machines to get the new Apple chips. And rumors have pointed towards the upcoming iMac 2020 to be the first machine to have Apple Silicon, though Kuo doesn’t think this will happen until 2021. Apple is set to launch the new iMac this year, but it will likely stick with Intel CPUs for now.  

However, in this new research note it looks like there’s a chance a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air could be the first laptops with Apple’s custom ARM-based chips. Kuo did note that production of these Mac machines will take place this year, so it would be very likely that Apple would then release the laptops late this year or early 2021. 

“We predict that Apple will launch new MacBook models including the new 13.3-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ equipped with the ‌Apple Silicon‌ in 4Q20, the new ‌MacBook Air‌ equipped with the ‌Apple Silicon‌ in 4Q20 or 1Q21, and new 14- and 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models equipped with the ‌Apple Silicon‌ and all-new form factor design in late 2Q21 or 3Q21,” Kuo’s note said. 

Kuo’s predictions have been on the money plenty of times, so there’s a good chance this forecast could bear fruit. Apple says that by moving to its own chips it will be able to offer strong performance balanced with better efficiency, which should result in better battery life. It may also cost Apple less to make its MacBooks, though that doesn't necessarily mean we'll see cheaper prices.  

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.