Unsurprisingly, the transition of the Mac platform to ‘Apple Silicon’—an as of yet unspecified custom chipset—was announced. The parallels to the Intel transition announcement in 2005 were obvious and likely entirely intentional. Apple is conveying the message: “we’ve done this before, we know what we are doing.”
Out of all the things on this years’ WWDC, I think this one is the most exciting to me. I haven’t been Apple user back in the PowerPC to Intel transition and honestly this one is a bit different — after all, they want to move Mac to the in-house silicon this time. Outstanding performance per watt will definitely make a huge difference, especially in the laptops market. One of the additional perks appears to be possibility to run iOS and iPadOS apps natively — though can’t think of any use case for myself, I guess games might be a good example.
This transition is going to be tricky though. While moving from PowerPC removed Apple from being “industry’s weirdos” using Power architecture and embrace standard being x86, they are now moving away from it when it’s essentially still a standard. Linux on ARM is a thing, though it’s still early days, even with the whole Raspberry Pi and alike movement. Windows is tough sell on anything else than x86, likely for years to come. Compatibility-wise I’m very curious how Apple is going to tackle these things. Exciting times for sure.