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We’ve been hearing about Apple’s plan to move away from Intel processors since February, with the first Mac models using an ARM chip expected in 2021. However, an ARM MacBook Pro is now thought to be launching before the end of the year.

As AppleInsider reports, the first ARM Mac is expected to be announced at WWDC today, with analyst Ming-chi Kuo predicting it will be a 13-inch MacBook Pro launching in the fourth quarter this year. Anyone concerned about the performance of an ARM Mac shouldn’t be, as apparently Apple’s custom chip outperforms the Intel equivalents by between 50-100 percent. We’ve previously heard rumors that Apple will use a 5nm 12-core ARM processor.

Once launched, Kuo believes the Intel version will quickly disappear, with production ceasing almost immediately, and then we’ll see a swift move to ARM chips across the Mac hardware range in 2021. The prediction is that all Mac models will be running on custom ARM processors within 18 months, so before the end of 2022.

In what sounds like a perfect storm for Apple, the shift to ARM not only brings with it a huge performance advantage, it also unlocks some serious cost savings. Kuo suggests a per-chip saving over Intel of between 40-60 percent. That could lead to lower pricing, but if the performance advantage is real, why would Apple need to lower pricing?

Away from ARM, 9To5Mac reports that Kuo is also predicting Apple intends to launch an all-new iMac design, which will be the last to use an Intel processor. It’s also expected to appear in the fourth quarter complete with a 24-inch display and thinner bezels.

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