In a major change that carries major implications for both companies, Apple will allegedly replace Intel processors with the company's chips on Mac computers as early as 2020, according to a new Bloomberg report. Chances are likely to start with laptops like the 12-inch MacBook. The price of Intel shares was hit shortly after the report was published; Bloomberg estimates that Apple provides approximately 5 percent of the chip maker's annual revenue. In addition to the processors on their Macs, Apple also uses Intel modem chips on some iPhones.
The last important transition of Apple's Mac processor of this scope occurred when it moved away from IBM PowerPC chips in favor of Intel. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs announced the move in 2005 and it was completed by the end of the following year. As in the previous example, Bloomberg points out that this would require a "multi-step transition". It is almost certain that Intel chips remain in Apple's high-end machines, such as the iMac Pro and the upcoming revision of Mac Pro until the company can produce internal chips are able to meet the demands of professional Mac users.
The decision to feed Macs with its own chips comes after years of rapid improvement and evolution of the ARM-based processors that Apple has incorporated into its iOS, Apple Watch and Apple TV devices. Apple's latest iPhones and iPads have become more powerful than some of the company's previous Mac. Designing future Macs with their own chips would give Apple more flexibility to launch new products, and the additional level of hardware control would also allow the company to further strengthen security.
Apple is also planning to allow Mac computers to run iOS applications for a more seamless experience between mobile and desktop platforms, according to a previous Bloomberg report. That new cross-software compatibility could arrive as early as this year and will occur before the processor change.