Apple’s move to make its own ARM-based chips could make MacBooks cheaper, based on a new analysis. That’s because producing its own “self-designed” system-on-a-chips, developed under the Apple Silicon initiative, are expected to cost under $100 per chipset, according to analyst house TrendForce. As such, Apple could pass those savings on to MacBook fans by reducing the price of laptops including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
“Although Apple still needs TSMC to manufacture its self-designed processors, the production cost of a Mac processor made with TSMC’s 5nm node is currently estimated under US$100, which is considerably more cost-effective compared to the 10nm Intel Core i3 processors, priced around US$200 to US$300 on the market,” TrendForce explained.
The analyst outfit explained that Apple will start mass-producing its own in-house designed chips for Macs in the first half of 2021, with Apple Silicon Macs expected in the second half of the year. That means cheaper MacBooks could be but a year away.
However, Apple has often charged a premium price for its devices, so we’ll have to wait and see whether Apple will pass on its manufacturing savings to its customers or pocket the extra money. There are a lot of very strong premium Windows 10 laptops in the market right now, such as the new Dell XPS 17 2020 that pose a challenge to the MacBook Pro 16-inch. As such, slightly cheaper MacBooks would be a good way for Apple to respond to the increased competition it faces in the laptop arena.