Updated August 3. Article originally posted on August 1.
Not only is Apple disrupting the Mac market with Mac-Mac and ARM-based processors, but it is also going to have an impact on the broader market. Microsoft will be forced to accelerate its Windows 10 on ARM project to allow its partners to stay in touch with Apple. And Google has to consider the threat to its Chromebook project.
August 3 update: MacOS on ARM gives Apple many important opportunities to increase the performance of Mac machines iFixit has a guest post by 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 at low power – and in a bargain, be able to integrate its “stuff” on a single chip (for even greater power savings). A separate T2 security processor will not be required when they can make it into their main processor die. They don’t work with “whatever integrated GPU abomination Intel has thrown into this generation” – they can design the chip for their needs with their own hardware acceleration, the stuff they care about.
ARM’s move gives Apple more headroom to innovate in terms of software and hardware over the next few years. Be aware of some competition, ARM machines are very impressive if given the benchmark for the first MacOS.
I’ve previously talked about the impact of Apple’s ARM-based processors move on the Windows 10 ecosystem. In summary, this is going to force Microsoft’s Windows 10 headlines on ARM; Rival laptop manufacturers will no doubt allow Apple to take all the glory rather than at least one ARM-powered line-up in the portfolio; And focusing on legacy app compatibility (something that Windows 10 and MacOS will have to deal with quickly and easily).
But there is another competitor who should worry about Apple’s move – the threat posed by Google and its Chromebook project and ChromeOS.
Chromebooks are lightweight laptops (and tablets, but I’m focusing on the laptop space here) that are built around Google’s Chrome browser. Most applications run from the cloud. Data can be stored locally but the data is focused on in the cloud.
Looking through Google’s homepage for OS and ecosystem; You see ‘smart’ quality of life features such as battery life, faster booting time, instant tethering for mobile devices, voice-powered Google Assistant and product security.
With Apple expected to lead ARM with MacBook Pro later this year, you can see that this new MacOS laptop is taking over the Chromebook project head on.
Many of Google’s key points lie in software. Apple believes in its approach to security, Siri has its own voice assistant available on the Mac, and replicates the quality of life features – for example the Instant Hotspot feature. The main OS software features are covered.
The benefits offered by ARM closely resemble the advantages of Chromebooks. You have an increased battery life for the same performance on an Intel chip. You have improved connectivity over cellular or wireless networks and better battery life. And you can offer more computing power at a lower cost.
Where Google would see an advantage would be in its online suite of apps including Google Docs and Google Sheets, as well as PIM functionality of GIM, Contacts, and Calendar. Apple adopts a slightly different approach to assigning files to the iWork suite, but the end result is the same … Apple has its own fully functional apps that work only with local or cloud-based files.
I believe that any launch event is going to be too focused on the points that directly target the Chromebook; Namely longer battery life, security, and Apple’s bundled applications include the iWork suite above.
Google’s previous memory was a tsunami of Windows 10 powered laptops. The price of Macs, even the MacBook Air’s $ 999, made them out of reach of any significant comparisons. The Apple Chromebook is within the disruptive range of the revolution, with a $ 200 pricing advantage over Mac laptops powered by ARM.
How will Google respond?
Now read more about the first MacBook Pro using an ARM processor …