As the insides of computers become more like iPhones, we can expect better battery life, thinner designs and even, maybe, a lower price tag.
Apple’s expected to announce the first computers powered using chips that are more like an iPhone than a typical PC. That alone is exciting to the techies, but it’s also a sign of what’s possible to come, whether you buy a Mac or not.
The iPhone maker’s said it’s going to change the brains of its computers over the next couple years. Starting with the computers it’s expected to announce Tuesday, Apple’s going to throw its weight behind its own self-made chips.
For the past 14 years, Apple’s relied on Intel-made chips to power its laptop and desktop computers. Before the year’s end, Apple said it will begin shipping computers with chips similar to those in its iPhones and iPads.
“Our vision for the Mac has always been about embracing breakthrough innovation and having the courage to make bold changes,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said when announcing the new initiative earlier this summer. He added that Apple’s own chips will usher in new technologies and “industry-leading performance” from the computers. “Every time we’ve done this, the Mac has come out stronger and more capable,” he said.
Apple declined to comment about its upcoming event.
For Apple, this moment is one that’s been more than a decade in the making. The question that’s nagged Apple since its co-founder Steve Jobs died in 2011 is what comes next. Jobs ushered in the Mac computer, the iMac all-in-one desktop, the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple’s biggest product launch since is the Apple Watch, which has turned into an enormous business, outselling the entire Swiss watch industry last year by a huge margin. Still, it’s not an iPhone-like dent in the universe.
By combining all its devices under the same chips and common code, Apple will be able to offer an experience that truly spans its desktops, laptops, phones and watches. Apple’s already said app developers will be able to create one app and send it to all devices, with adjustments for keyboard and mouse vs finger touch and gestures.
The result may be a further blurring of the lines between what a computer is, and what it’s meant to do.