In the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC20), CEO Tim Cook announced that the company will be using its own custom silicon for its Mac products. The move will create a common architecture across all Apple products making it an ultra-exclusive ecosystem.
Apple said the transition will make it easier for developers “to write and optimize their apps for the entire ecosystem.”
“From the beginning, the Mac has always embraced big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing. Today we’re announcing our transition to Apple silicon, making this a historic day for the Mac,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “With its powerful features and industry-leading performance, Apple silicon will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”
In spite of the economic disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple is optimistic that it will be able to deliver on its forecast of shipping the first Mac with Apple silicon by the end of the year. The timeline for the complete transition is set for two years.
But users of previous versions of Mac that run on Intel will still get support from Apple “for years to come.” The company also revealed that simultaneous with the transition is the release of new Macs that still run on Intel.
Quick Start Program
Apple will provide developers with access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12 through the recently launched Universal App Quick Start Program to assist them during the transition. The company also that developers will have “limited use of a Developer Transition Kit (DTK), a Mac development system based on Apple’s A12Z Bionic System on a Chip (SoC).”
The company also announced that Apple Developer Program members can start moving their apps to Apple silicon today by applying for the Universal App Quick Start Program. Apart from access to documentation, forums support, beta versions of macOS Big Sur and Xcode 12, the program will allow developers to build and test their Universal 2 apps.
The DTK, which must be returned to Apple at the end of the program, consists of a Mac mini with Apple’s A12Z Bionic SoC inside and desktop specs, including 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a variety of Mac I/O ports. Developers can apply to the program at developer.apple.com, and the total cost of the program is $500.