Apple's announcements

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Those who follow technology have undoubtedly heard about Apple's announcements Monday. Changes to iOS, MacOS, and other tidbits, but the major thing is that they are ditching Intel to make their own chips for Macs. First new devices will be out this year.

That puts me in a bit of a quandary. My current iMac is a late 2015 and I was planning to replace it with a newer one in the next couple of years. I usually buy refurbished from the Apple online store, but they'll probably have only Intel models there for the next couple of years. Buying one of those would probably not be a good idea because of early obsolescence.
 
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I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one with an intel processor. I don’t expect the transition to ARM processors to happen that fast, it could be awhile until we see them across the product line of mac systems.
 
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First ARM laptops this year, full transition completed in 24 months.
The major change is on the OS though, the ARM switch is an enabler.
The MacOS and IOSes are converging.

TBH this is a great analysis and summary of the announcement. There are others more focused on the OS convergence, even wondering if some of the hardware product ranges are not going to be superfluous (between Ipad Pro and MacBook).

 
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Maybe not now, but two years from now?
Two years is when they announced the transition will be completed.
Intel has really messed up the market for more than a year now.
They made a massive error in their production forecast last year, forgot a 0 at the end and the entire industry has suffered since.
Technology wise they are still not able to offer viable mobile processors while ARM is improving the performance of their processors.
Initially AMD was not able to pick up the opportunity.
Intel was unable to correct it quickly enough.
Some strategic decisions have been taken earlier than anticipated by Apple (and others).
 
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Those who follow technology have undoubtedly heard about Apple's announcements Monday. Changes to iOS, MacOS, and other tidbits, but the major thing is that they are ditching Intel to make their own chips for Macs. First new devices will be out this year.

That puts me in a bit of a quandary. My current iMac is a late 2015 and I was planning to replace it with a newer one in the next couple of years. I usually buy refurbished from the Apple online store, but they'll probably have only Intel models there for the next couple of years. Buying one of those would probably not be a good idea because of early obsolescence.
My 2015 Mac is still working fine for me. But, probably in the next couple of years I will be upgrading, too. I guess time will tell how the new processors stack up against the older intel ones. Are you worried about getting software updates in the future if you buy intel? I may get a macbook pro with external monitor next so I can use it both at home and when traveling. PS....I actually love my Windows 10 laptop. I had to get it for work, but I use it for personal too, and hardly ever turn on my 2015 13" macbook pro. I love the touch screen and 15" display. The touchpad isn't nearly as good so I use a mouse with it. There are lots of good options.
 
I watched the keynote on Monday and yes, the shift from Intel processors to Apple's own ARM chips is going to be a gradual process over the next couple of years, so no need to panic. Those who went through the transition from PPC to Intel may recall that for a while Apple included a special app called Rosetta, which worked for using older software -- this bridged the gap while developers worked on updating their software to be useable and native to Intel processors on the Mac. Now Apple will be providing us with Rosetta 2, which will pretty much perform the same sort of function, except the entire process should be much more fluid and easier than it was earlier.

In the keynote, Apple announced that there are still new Intel-based machines in the pipeline, which I think are to be released in 2020, and so of course this means that Apple will still be providing software support for them in a few years, probably at least until 2024 or so. For those who need to buy a new machine in 2020 or early in 2021 I think it would be safe enough to do so, an Intel-based one, and it also would provide you some breathing space as the transition from Intel to ARM continues over the next couple or so years. I have a 2018 15" MBP and a 2017 12" MacBook and I am figuring on hanging on to both of them and continuing to use them through at least the first year or so of the ARM transition. I have a hunch that the 12" MacBook, which had been discontinued in 2017, may make a reappearance as one of the first ARM-based machines. I wouldn't be surprised.

Terri: I use the setup of MBP and external monitor, and it works a treat! The machine is on a stand and plugged into a 24" LG Thunderbolt 3 monitor, which provides power to both of them, and I use the Apple BT Magic keyboard and Magic Mouse II as peripherals just as I would with a desktop machine. When I need or want to take the machine somewhere, it's a simple matter of unplugging the sole Thunderbolt 3 cable and we're off!
 

Growltiger

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I think it would be a good idea to buy the last of the Intel based systems. Three reasons:

1. How long will it be before there are ARM systems that have a processing core that runs as fast as an Intel core? It is all very well having lots of cores on the chip, but many things require a fast core.

2. Will Apple implement controls on what programs are allowed to run, as with iOS? If so all your software would have to come from the Apple Store and they take 30% (or whatever). This would mean they have total control and this would limit software availability as some software writers would no longer bother to target Apple.

3. Will Apple's focus with Macs be aimed at the profitable consumer market, with medium and low end systems, abandoning the high power, less profitable segment? It would make business sense for them to do this.
 
Supposedly the new ARM processors will indeed be able to outperform Intel-based machines.... Also, another benefit will be that Apple can provide refreshes and updates much sooner than they've been able to do in the last couple of years due to Intel's issues. By developing and installing their own processors in their own hardware Apple can have much better control over their refresh and update cycles, which will benefit customers. I do wonder, though, whether or not the new machines will be more expensive than the already-expensive current lineup of Intel-based machines.....

Richard, good question regarding the software allowed to be installed and run in one of the new machines.... Definitely some users would not be pleased at being restricted to only the choices of apps available in the App Store or the Mac App Store. This could have a big impact on those who use special business or scientific related software which is not generally available to or used by the general public. Also those who rely on being able to use Windows software for some specific applications and have that in their Mac, the changes there and probable inability to use Windows in a Mac at all any more will have a major effect on those who do not want to have two separate machines at home so that they can continue to work from home, and traveling with two machines on a business trip could be very annoying.

It's hard to tell now whether or not Apple will indeed abandon the high power segment, those who really require high-performance systems, but it is likely that the primary focus will indeed be on the profitable consumer market which is happy with medium and low-end systems....
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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A quote from that link:

"That means Apple's future Macs with Apple-designed chips will not natively support running current versions of software like VMWare or Parallels to run x86 Windows within the virtualization software. Other native solutions may appear, but will require efforts from 3rd party developers."

I'm sure the VMWare folks are very unhappy.
 
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This is tough for me as I bought a PPC a couple years before they announced the move to Intel and now I have a $5k (at the time) machine that's more than useless today. I'm not due for a new computer anytime soon as I can just use my work laptop if needed but my dad is desperately wanting to get a new one (his is from 2007?) and I told him to wait for the announcement before making a decision. Now I don't know if I should recommend getting a current iMac or waiting a few more months and seeing if they come out with ARM iMacs...I also don't know if he is patient enough to wait either as his current machine is garbage.
 
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Two years is when they announced the transition will be completed.
Intel has really messed up the market for more than a year now.
They made a massive error in their production forecast last year, forgot a 0 at the end and the entire industry has suffered since.
Technology wise they are still not able to offer viable mobile processors while ARM is improving the performance of their processors.
Initially AMD was not able to pick up the opportunity.
Intel was unable to correct it quickly enough.
Some strategic decisions have been taken earlier than anticipated by Apple (and others).
Intel also has serious security design flaws in their chips that are not often discussed. I have friends in the IT security industry who know more details about this.
 
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May 3, 2007
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Those who follow technology have undoubtedly heard about Apple's announcements Monday. Changes to iOS, MacOS, and other tidbits, but the major thing is that they are ditching Intel to make their own chips for Macs. First new devices will be out this year.

That puts me in a bit of a quandary. My current iMac is a late 2015 and I was planning to replace it with a newer one in the next couple of years. I usually buy refurbished from the Apple online store, but they'll probably have only Intel models there for the next couple of years. Buying one of those would probably not be a good idea because of early obsolescence.
I will likely face a similar dilemma in another 3-4 years. Not enough data so far to know if I should be worried. Good info here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/arm-based-macs-at-wwdc-2020-will-apple-re-engine-or-re-imagine/
 
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Intel also has serious security design flaws in their chips that are not often discussed. I have friends in the IT security industry who know more details about this.
My guess is this in reference to the exploits Spectre V1, Spectre V2, V3 and Meltdown. Intel has been issuing fixes, most are in firmware, I doubt they’ve fixed all the attacks possible. They all exploit speculative
execution side channels. Friends still working on these fixes for intel have mentioned the performance hits for the fixes are 2 to 8 percent depending on what’s being done, I’ve seen reports in the press suggesting 30 percent but I have seen nothing on how they came up with that metric. I think Meltdown problem was Intel specific, I believe Spectre V1, V2 and V3 impacted chips from AMD, ARM and Intel. I don’t know what steps the non-intel processor companies have taken to mitigate these exploits. There was a tremendous amount of panic when these were made public. While there was an exploit published, but nothing exists to show it was ever used.
I don’t think I’d make purchase decisions based on these problems. I tend to look at performance of Photoshop on a platform. It’s really the only app I use on my Macs.
 

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