When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at this year’s WWDC developer conference that his company’s computers and laptops would no longer be equipped with Intel chips in the future, but instead would rely on specially developed models, the move was classified as revolutionary. Apple’s chips – called M1 – would make the boundary between iPhone and iPad on the one hand, and Macbook and iMac on the other hand, disappear even further, it said.
There are now three computers on the market with the said chips – a new Macbook, a new Macbook Air and a new Mac mini. And they get top marks in the international press.
ARM chips are not an Apple invention
The technology that combines various computer components on a single chip (system-on-a-chip architecture) has been used in smartphones and other mobile devices for years. Apple has also been using ARM chips since the iPhone 5S. And they’re not new to computers either. Apple competitor Microsoft launched its Surface Pro X with an ARM chip back in October last year – due to the lack of apps specially programmed for the architecture, however, the performance potential cannot be exhausted here.
The decisive advantage of Apple lies precisely in these apps specially developed for the architecture. With the exception of computers, Apple devices have been using ARM for many years, and software programmers have long been developing specifically for the technology. Not entirely without melancholy, the former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky now writes on Twitter that Apple’s M1 Macs are the “Tesla Roadsters of IT”. Just like the first Macintosh from 1984 or the first iPhone from 2007, the M1 computer is a product that has a “vision and a runway that is visible to many”.