Apple’s announcement earlier this week that it plans to design its own GPUs for future iPhones and iPads did more than signal bad news for Imagination Technologies. It also added weight to the idea that Apple will at some point want to ditch Intel chips in Macs in favour of its own design of ARM-based CPUs.
The arguments in favor of Apple designing its own Mac processors are exactly the same ones that led the company to design its own A-series chips for iOS devices. Apple gets total control – something the company values highly.
Control of costs is part of it, of course. Tim Cook in particular got to the position he’s in today in large part by demonstrating a mastery of the supply-chain, and a significant goal there is to keep costs as low as possible in order to maximise margins. Apple eliminates royalty fees by designing its own chips, and that will further boost margins.
But while cost is of course one motivation, there are two even more important benefits to Apple-designed CPUs …