What to expect from Apple in 2020

Apple’s come a long way in the last decade. Ten years ago, the company had just released the third version of the iPhone and users of the smartphone had only recently gotten the ability to cut, copy, and paste things. The iPad was waiting in the wings and the Mac Pro was still on its first cheese-grater design.

Fast forward to today and so much has changed. Smartphones are part of everyone’s daily lives, the iPad has been through an entire cycle of sales challenges, and the Mac Pro is, well, a cheese-grater once again.

As we look ahead to the coming 12 months, concrete details are, as always, few and far between. But there’s plenty of speculation about what’s coming down the pike, and some of it has been building for some time now. Here’s what to look for in Apple’s 2020.

You and what ARMy

Apple announced its transition from PowerPC to Intel processors in June 2005, just over ten years after it had made the jump to PowerPC from the Motorola 68000 architecture that had powered every Mac in the decade before. Fourteen years since that last transition, it’s starting to seem like we’re overdue for the next jump.

a13 mockup IDG

Could an ARM-based Mac make its debut in 2020?

The arguments in favor of such a transition have been steadily mounting. Recent chips powering the iPad and iPhone have proved to be screamers, in some cases outperforming Macs in benchmark tests. These chips also tend to consume less power than the current processors in Macs, helping provide better battery life. Not to mention every non-Mac device that Apple builds—from the Apple Watch to the HomePod to the Apple TV to those iOS devices—uses processors that Apple itself designs. That leaves the Mac as the odd man out in the company’s lineup.

Apple has long had control issues, stemming in large part from its brush with death in the ‘90s. The company has slowly been building and acquiring the means to design and build more and more of the components of its devices in house, from power management systems to graphics chips to cellular modems. That it would leave something as significant as the processor architecture that powers one of its major product lines under the effective control of a third-party beggars belief at this stage in the game.

This seems more like a “when” question than an “if” question. And the smart money suggests that 2020 might be the year that Apple finally makes this rumor a reality. Keep your eyes peeled on June’s Worldwide Developers Conference, because if it’s going to happen somewhere, that’s the likely place.

All the G’s

The parade towards 5G has begun, and expect to hear a lot more buzz about it in the next year. Cellular providers have begun rolling out the latest generation of cellular wireless networking, which promises to provide even faster speeds and better connectivity.

5g wireless mobile data connection Thinkstock

2020: The year of 5G

Not all at once, though: It’ll take years for the rollout to progress to the promised land of…


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