Mac mini mid-2011 (Apple Thunderbolt Display, MagicTrackPad)

MacBidouille is the source of an interesting new rumor [translation] that Apple is currently experimenting with new ARM-powered Mac variants that include a Magic trackpad built into the system’s keyboard. The company is also reportedly working on a new version of OS X that will be compatible with these ARM machines.

According to MacBidouille’s sources, Apple is developing three new machines with this configuration: the aforementioned iMac and Mac mini as well as a 13″ MacBook, presumably a MacBook Air. The iMac and notebook are both said to have “4 or 8” quad-core arm64 processors, while the Mac mini has only four.

The systems are reportedly far enough into development that they could become public knowledge soon, but Apple is concerned that making the switch from Intel to ARM too early could be disastrous for the entire Mac lineup, and thus has decided to keep things under wraps for now.

Of course, the lineup has survived a similar change once already. In 2005 Apple announced that it would be moving away from its then-current PowerPC architecture in new Macs and switching to Intel x86 chips.

Since the launch of the first-generation iPad, Apple has been designing its own ARM-based processors (the A4-A7 line) for use in iOS devices. Thoughts of switching the Mac to an ARM platform could indicate that the company is finally ready give its other products the same treatment.