Apple is looking to step up its chip game in computers and products it hasn’t even developed yet, reads a stock analyst’s note to investors that was leaked and reported on Wednesday by a top Apple news site.
In the note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as first reported on by Mac Rumors, the trusted investor writes that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, (TSMC) is set to be the Cupertino-based firm’s cornerstone supplier for years to come. Additionally, the Taiwanese chip giant will manufacture iPhone processors going into 2019 and 2020, and potentially put together the underlying tech in future Macs and the rumored Apple Car.
iPhones use Apple’s proprietary A-Series chips, like this year’s A12 Bionic processor, which it assembles in abroad. However, its computers primarily make use of Intel processor but that could all change as early as 2020.
Here’s the relevant portion of the note:
We also expect that Mac models will adopt Apple’s in-house-designed processor starting 2020 or 2021, which will create four advantages for Apple: (1) Apple could control everything about the Mac’s design and production and be rid of negative impacts from Intel’s processor shipment schedule changes. (2) Better profits thanks to lower processor cost. (3) Mac market share gain if Apple lowers the price. (4) It could differentiate Mac from peers’ products.
The update would usher in a new era of Macs that would pack more processing power and potentially come with artificial intelligence features, like the ones the A12 Bionic chips enables. Kuo also mentions that cutting out third-party chip developers could lead to a drop in price, which would benefit Apple immensely.
The starting price for a Mac is $1,099, even a marginally dropping this would make the desktop cheaper than the iPhone XS Max. This could make Macs appeal to a wider demographic that once though entry-level Apple desktops were too expensive and help rally Mac sales, which have stagnated recently.
Kuo also revived rumors of the autonomous Apple Car the company is developing under the code name “Project Titan.” The analyst has doubled down on his predictions that the vehicle will launch somewhere between 2023 and 2025. This time he elaborated that the “Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)” will be powered by TSMC-made chips and it would support either Level 4 or Level 5 autonomous driving.
As it stands, Apple relies on over 200 suppliers for components across all of its products. While it might never be completely self-sustained, this leaked information reveals that Apple is driving towards a diversified and autonomous future, in both their manufacturing practice and potential vehicle department.