With the move from Intel to Apple’s own processors, the important question is: should I buy a new MacBook now, or wait until the first Apple Silicon Mac appears this fall? We list the pros and cons.
What is Apple Silicon?
Perhaps the biggest announcement during WWDC 2020: Apple will stop working with Intel and make processors for Macs from now on. Apple’s laptops and desktops follow the iPhone and iPad, which have been running on Apple’s own A-series chips for years. Want to know more about Apple Silicon? Check our extensive explanation article below for all the answers to your questions.
5 reasons not to wait for an Apple Silicon Mac
There are plenty of reasons why it’s not a good idea for you to wait for months for the first Silicon Mac. In our opinion, these are the most important.
1. Until ‘your MacBook’ has Apple Silicon can take a long time
Apple has already said at the unveiling of the big switch that it may take a while until all Macs are equipped with an Apple chip. This fall, it is planned that the company will release its first Apple Silicon Mac, but it is still unclear what model it is here.
The rumor mill is going in all directions: Will it be a new 14-inch MacBook Pro, a cheaper MacBook Air, or even a whole new 12-inch model designed especially for Apple Silicon? That uncertainty makes it fun to follow the news around this Mac, but not very practical if you’re looking for concrete buying advice. It can take until well into 2021 until all Macs have switched to this new processor.
2. First-generation Apple products are a risk
You don’t have to tell us how great it is to get started with a first-generation Apple product (see also the points below), but it also carries risks. We have seen before that the first generation of a new design or product comes with the necessary problems, which Apple then solves in the second generation.
A MacBook is a fairly expensive device, so it can be quite a risk to immediately spend more than a thousand euros or more on such a device. Waiting a year for a second-generation is not a bad idea in this case.
3. Current Intel Macs will also be supported for years to come
Now that Apple is phasing out its partnership with Intel, it doesn’t mean that all current Macs are suddenly no longer worthwhile. Apple has already pledged that a number of Intel Macs will be released this year, including a new iMac. All recent Macs are therefore supported for many years with the latest macOS versions. For example, look at macOS Big Sur, which is still running on 2015 Macs.
4. Some apps will work better on Intel for now
The move from Intel to a completely new processor does not only demand a lot from Apple, but also from developers. Apps should get support for these Macs, so chances are specific apps won’t work optimally at first.
Keep this in mind if, for example, you are very dependent on a specific app or service for your studies or work. Large and well-known apps will probably finish developing an update in time, but for smaller or older apps, that is still the question.
5. You now need a new Mac
Nice and nice that the first Apple Silicon Mac will appear this autumn, but that is of little use to you now. Do you need a new Mac for your studies, work, or for any other reason? Then you may not have the luxury of waiting patiently for a few months. With the issues we discussed above, we certainly do not consider it a risk to tack now and choose, for example, the new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, which are equipped with Apple’s improved keyboard.
4 reasons to wait for an Apple Silicon Mac
Although there are plenty of reasons to just get an Intel Mac, you can also come up with arguments to wait a while.
1. Your current Mac is still working fine
Do you currently have a Mac that is doing well and that you can use it for a while? Then it may be worthwhile to wait until this autumn and see how Apple will shape the roll-out of Silicon. Many MacBooks last about five (or longer), depending on what you use the device for. So take a critical look at the current iMac or MacBook and decide based on that whether it pays for you to wait a while to buy a better, newer one.
2. You want the latest of the latest
If you read Apple news, you probably have an above-average interest in Apple products. We understand you very well if you prefer to work with the latest products of the company from Cupertino. The move to Apple Silicon is a new chapter for the Mac and one that will bring many changes. Not surprising if you want to be the first to discover how the company makes this step.
3. High probability of greatly improved performance
If we look at the performance of Apple’s A chips in the iPhone and iPad, the future of the Mac looks very bright. For years, the iPhone and iPad have outperformed every competitor in terms of performance, thanks in part to the close collaboration between Apple’s hardware and software.
So count on Apple to take Mac’s performance to a new level with the arrival of its own chips. Certainly in the field of battery life (something that MacBooks no longer excel at), we expect Apple to take significant steps here.
4. Finally a new design on the way?
The MacBook has had an almost identical appearance for many years, so slowly but surely it is about time for an update. Consider the introduction of Face ID, which lets you unlock the Mac by simply opening the lid – or looking at it in the case of an iMac.