Updated Aug 3. Article originally posted Aug 1.
Not only is Apple disrupting the MacBook and Mac market with its move to ARM-based processors, its also going to have an impact on the wider marketplace. Microsoft will be forced to accelerate its Windows 10 on ARM project to allow its partners to stay in touch with Apple. And Google will have to consider the danger to its Chromebook project .
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., left, views the new Macbook laptop with model … [+] Christy Turlington Burns at the Apple Inc. Spring Forward event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, March 9, 2015. Apple Inc. began showing off features and applications for its first new device in five years, a smartwatch designed to put information on peoples’ wrists and break open the fledgling market for wearable technology. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Tim Cook; Christy Turlington Burns
© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP
Aug 3 update: MacOS on ARM gives Apple a significant number of avenues to increase the performance of its Mac machines iFixit has a guest post from Russell Graves looking at the impact of ARM and what it might mean for the platform as it matures:
Apple will be able to deliver the same performance on less powerand, in the bargain, be able to integrate more of their stuff on the same chip (for even more power savings). There wont be a need for a separate T2 security processor when they can just build it into their main processor die. They wont be stuck dealing with Whatever integrated GPU abomination Intel has dumped in this generationthey can design the chip for their needs, with their hardware acceleration, for the stuff they care about.
The move to ARM gives Apple a lot more headroom to innovate in terms of software and hardware over the next few years. Something the competition should be aware of, given the benchmark for the first MacOS on ARM machines are so impressive.
CUPERTINO, CA – OCTOBER 27: Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller speaks … [+] during a product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its MacBook Pro line of laptops and TV app. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Ive previously talked about the impact of Apples move to ARM-based processors on the Windows 10 ecosystem. In summary its going to force Microsofts Windows 10 on ARM into the spotlight; rival laptop manufacturers will no doubt offer at least one ARM-powered line-up in the portfolio rather than let Apple take all the glory; and there will be an increased focus on fixing legacy app compatibility (something that Windows 10 and MacOS will have to deal with quickly and smoothly).
But theres another competitor that should be worrying about the danger posed by Apples move – Google and its Chromebook project and ChromeOS.
Chromebooks are lightweight laptops (and tablets, but Im focusing on the laptop space here) that are built around Googles Chrome browser. The vast majority of apps run from the cloud. Data can be stored locally but the focus is on data in the cloud.
Looking through Googles homepage for the OS and the ecosystem; you see battery life, fast booting times, smart quality of life features such as instant tethering to mobile devices, the voice powered Google assistant, and the security of the product.
With Apple expected to lead off with a MacBook Pro on ARM later this year, you can see that this new MacOS laptop is taking on the Chromebook project head on.
A number of Googles key points are in software. Apple is confident in its approach to security, its own voice assistant in Siri is available on Macs, and the quality of life features are replicated – for example the Instant Hotspot feature. The core OS software features are covered.
The advantages offered by ARM tie in closely with the advantages of a Chromebook. You have the increased battery life for similar performance on an Intel chip. You have improved connectivity on cellular or wireless network, and increased battery life. And you can offer more computing power at a lower price.
Where Google will be seen to have an advantage will be in the online suite of apps including Google Docs and Google Sheets, as well as the PIM functionality of Gmail, Contacts, and Calendar. Apple takes a slightly different approach to handing files for the iWork suite, but the end result is the same Apple has its own fully functional apps that work just as well with local- or cloud-based files.
Im confident that any launch event is going to put a lot of focus on points that directly target the Chromebook; namely the long battery life, security, and Apples bundled applications including the aforementioned iWork suite.
Googles previous yardstick was the tsunami of Windows 10 powered laptops. The pricing of the Macs, even the MacBook Airs $999, put them out of reach of any significant comparison. With a discussed $200 pricing advantage on ARM powered Mac laptops, Apple is within disruptive range of the Chromebook revolution.
How will Google respond?
Now read more about the first MacBook Pro using ARM processors