Following the introduction of Apple Silicon in 2020, starting with the 13-inch MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro, Apple announced a two-year transition period to fully establish Silicon and phase out Intel-based Macs. With the recent unveiling of the second-generation Silicon, it appears that Apple is nearing the completion of this transition. This raises the question: Will Apple cease support for the latest MacBooks equipped with Intel chips? Let’s examine this matter further below.
In 2020, Apple made a groundbreaking announcement of its transition from Intel processors to its own line of M1 chips based on the ARM architecture. This move represented a significant revolution for Mac users, as Apple aimed to replicate the successful formula of hardware and software integration seen in the iPhone. The M1 chips have demonstrated remarkable performance and energy efficiency, surpassing their Intel counterparts. As a result, Apple may consider the transition complete.
Consequently, Apple may allocate fewer resources to the maintenance and support of older hardware models with Intel chips. This could lead to better optimization and enhanced performance for functions and applications designed specifically for Apple Silicon. However, this may also result in a shorter update cycle for older Intel-based computers, such as a four-year cycle for a 2019 Mac, if the end of support is confirmed.
With the increasing benefits and remarkable sales of Apple Silicon, we are witnessing a growing number of applications being developed exclusively for this architecture. Prominent software such as Blender, the Adobe suite, Figma, and most recently, Final Cut Pro X, have been tailored specifically for the M1 chip. This shift signifies a gradual transition of applications towards the new Apple architecture, which offers enhanced efficiency and superior performance.
As this transition progresses, applications optimized for Apple Silicon will gain significant market share, providing users with an improved experience. However, this shift may result in a lack of support for Intel versions, leading to an increase in bugs and stability issues for those using older hardware. The focus on developing for Apple Silicon indicates the direction in which the industry is heading, prioritizing the new architecture’s capabilities and leaving Intel-based systems with diminishing compatibility.
Exponential technological advance
Traditionally, Intel processors were considered the limiting factor for Macs, as they failed to keep pace with Apple’s rapid development in laptops and desktops. However, the introduction of Apple Silicon has completely changed the landscape, granting Apple the freedom to innovate and advance technologically. This transition enables Apple to develop features with seamless synchronization that was not possible with the previous chips. These enhancements could encompass areas such as artificial intelligence, security, graphics performance, and more. Consequently, Macs with Intel processors will gradually fall behind in this race.
In conclusion, Apple does not intend to abruptly abandon support for Intel-based Macs, but rather adopt a strategy similar to that implemented for the iPhone. All compatible Macs will receive macOS 14 updates, although not all of them will benefit from the latest advancements. This approach ensures a smoother transition while allowing Apple to focus its resources and attention on optimizing the capabilities of Macs powered by Apple Silicon.