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MacBook Air Could Become ARM Based Touch-Screen Tablet Device?

Rumors have been doing rounds on the internet that Apple intends to unveil a MacBook Air that will be based on ARM. For the record, Apple currently uses Intel processors in MacBook Air. But recently, a statement issued by Citigroup suggests that such rumors are false and that Apple has no plans of switching MacBook Air from Intel to ARM. The question is, would such a move benefited Apple and whether or not ARM will be a better choice over Intel in the coming days.


Apple uses ARM-based chips in iPhone and iPad devices. This prompted many analysts to believe that Apple may also switch MacBook Air to ARM-based chips. This was based on the speculation that ARM-based chips are doing an excellent job and they may be a far better choice compared to Intel’s processors. But is that really true?

Intel is all set to release some powerful and excellent processors in 2013. Intel has concentrated on creating such processors which are far more powerful and in contrast, consume much less battery than usual. Intel is hoping to introduce such a chip, dubbed “Haswell” for the laptop market in 2013. This chip will cater to both power needs and battery issues of laptops. Moreover, Intel is also set to rehaul the landmark ‘Atom processor.’ Atom is already a very power-efficient processor and we are only waiting to see how Intel intends to redesign. This too would be revealed in 2013.

With these two key updates coming from Intel next year, it probably is wise of Apple to stick to Intel. Switching to ARM may mean a momentary boast in MacBook Air’s performance (and that, too, is doubtful) but very soon Intel may release such processors which will outdo ARM chips. So Apple is apparently relying on Intel’s promise of landmark processors in the making. This is apparent from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook’s statement given to Citigroup analyst. Here’s a part of the story,

“”Tim Cook reiterated his view that rapid innovation on the iOS platform (and mobile OS platforms in general) will significantly broaden the use case for tablets, eventually pushing annual tablet volumes above those of traditional PCs. We have wondered whether Apple might offer an ARM-based version of MacBook Air at some point; we walked away from this meeting with the impression that Apple feels iPad satisfies–or will soon satisfy–the needs of those who might have been interested in such a product.”

What we infer from it is that there is a possibility that Apple may expand it’s iPad line of devices. It may start producing iPad devices with multiple display sizes. Moreover, Apple is also rumored to launch A6 chips in iPad 3 and that may be what Tim Cook refers to in his statement. Whatever be the reason, Apple may have to find a cautious balance between iPad and MacBook Air, between Intel and ARM, to continue with it’s success.

Image courtesy bryangareb.

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