Updated Aug 27. Article originally posted Aug 25.
With sales of the MacBook rising by twenty percent, Apple has a delightful little problem nestling in the heart of the laptop success. Just before macOS moves into an ARM-powered future the audience for the older Intel standard has boomed,
Aug 27 update: More features for the MacBook have leaked, this time with the addition of wireless charging to Apple’s laptops. Not to bring power into the macOS-powered machine, but to charge accessories such as the iPhone or the Apple AirPOds by resting them next to the touchpad. Shabani Arif reports:
“Apple’s supply chain includes a Taiwanese diode manufacturer and will utilise its GPP (glass passivated package) bridge rectifiers in its upcoming MacBook. These were initially going to be used in Apple’s AirPower multi-device wireless charging mat, which was officially cancelled earlier this year.”
Will this be another feature that Apple holds back from the Intel MacBooks to push the advanced nature of the ARM-powered Macs following a successful Indian summer for the Intel machines?
The increase of twenty percent is in Q3’s year-on-year figures calculated by supply chain analysis conducted by Digitimes. Apple introduced new models of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air at the start of 2020. Alongside Intel’s tenth-generation of Core processors, the key feature was the replacement of the hated butterfly keyboard with the expertly branded ‘magic’ keyboard that returned to a scissor switch design.
On top of the feature that many were waiting to be fixed before upgrading, these new MacBooks were launched as lockdowns around the world pushed ‘working from home’ up the agenda. And the rise of working from home has seen increased spending in some tech centers… presumably including new laptops for those at home.
Naturally all sales are welcome, but this spike will add to the pressure to not only maintain macOS for Intel machines but also to continue to increase the scope and capability on this platform alongside the nascent ARM platform.
The historical move from PowerPC to Intel saw Apple support the older architecture for four years. Is four years of support for an Intel machine purchased in 2020 enough? Given macOS Catalina supports Mac machines from 2013, I think the answer is no.
Consumers who have put their trust in Apple by purchasing a new Intel MacBook this year will not want to be short-changed by Apple’s tendency to push forward to the future by breaking older technology.