Will your back-to-school Mac be an Apple Silicon Mac?

You still have time to save your pennies.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Last month saw Apple show off its Arm-based processors -- branded Apple Silicon -- at WWDC. But when will you be able to buy a Mac powered by Apple Silicon? Will they be out in time for the back-to-school buying extravaganza?

It's a good question. After all, the back-to-school "season" is traditionally a good time for Mac sales. Also, according to Digitimes, Apple is seeing a 20% bump in MacBook Pro sales compared to the year-ago quarter, which suggests that the Apple Silicon announcement hasn't dampened demand for Macs.

Also: Ex-Apple exec: Apple's Arm-based Silicon will speed end of Microsoft Windows-Intel duopoly 

So, what about Macs for the back-to-school season? It seems unlikely to happen this year.

Rewind a few months prior to the official unveiling of Apple Silicon, and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was confident that it would be the MacBook Air that would be the first portable to drop Intel and make the leap to Arm processors.

It made sense then and it makes sense now, after all, the MacBook Air would be the system that would benefit the most from better power efficiencies. It also allows Apple to start at the bottom in terms of performance.

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And the MacBook Air is a popular laptop during the back-to-school season, even if some will continue to distance learn due to thecoronavirus pandemic.

But it seems unlikely that Apple will release anything before Q4, which means Apple is instead aiming for the holiday season.

It's also worth noting that the transition to Apple Silicon is not going to be overnight either.

At WWDC 2020 Tim Cook said that it would take two years, and it's unclear if the clock starts from that announcement in June, or from when the first Apple Silicon Mac is shipped.

And on top of that, it's still unclear if Apple's Xeon-based Macs -- the Mac Pro and iMac Pro -- will be making the transition within that timeframe.

Are you planning to buy an Intel Mac while they are still on offer, or are you holding onto your cash and waiting for Apple Silicon to land?

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