Intel developers and executives had indicated that they expect at least some of the Apple Mac lineup to move to ARM processors in 2020. The report came from Axios and it fits well with the software changes that are coming in 2020 from Apple. If the plan turns out to be true, it will be the second major processor platform change in the history of Macs.
While details are scares on how transition to ARM Processors will happen, the timings appear to be aimed for next year. That is when Apple is expected to have rolled out the final phase of Project Marzipan. That project brings iOS and Mac apps to a single binary for developers, meaning they code once and it works everywhere. To make that a reality, it is almost certainly going to require Macs go to ARM instead of Intel i-Core processors. Having both Marzipan and the ARM processors in place would make this a seamless experience for developers. It would also mean that Apple has much more control over the design and manufacturing of the processors, much like they have with the iPhone and iPad A-Series processors.
While the move will impact Intel, it won’t be a disaster for them. First, they have a huge number of customers in the PC market and second, they will still be supplying some chips (likely modems) to Apple for the iPhone and other devices.
This is not the first time Apple has moved from one processor platform to another. In 2005, Apple announced their plan to move from PowerPC processor to Intel x86 as part of a complete revamp of macOS. That revamp was moving the OS to a Unix-based system, part of what Apple got when they bought Steve Job’s NEXT company. The move became a reality in early 2006.