Microsoft Corp and Qualcomm Corp have been working together for four years to bring Arm-based Windows laptops to market, with major manufacturers such as Lenovo Group Ltd, Asustek Computer and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd offering machines.
But for both Microsoft and Apple, the true test will be software developers. Apple is hoping that the massive group of iPhone developers will embrace the new Macs, which will share a common 64-bit Arm computing architecture with the iPhone and be able to use similar apps.
In the meantime, Apple has seen a boom in Mac sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, notching record fiscal fourth quarter Mac sales of $9 billion earlier this month - all of them Intel-based. In June, Chief Executive Tim Cook said Apple will continue to support those devices for “years to come” but did not specify an end-of-life date