Apple should use the iPad Pro’s A12X chip in its Macs, but it won’t

A12X bionic
What’s inside the iPad Pro
It didn’t take long for the soon to be released iPad Pro’s benchmarks to hit the internet.  On Tuesday when Apple announced the iPad Pro they said that the device was faster than 92% of the PC out in the world.  Turns out, Apple wasn’t just blowing smoke. The iPad Pro can fly. The benchmark results, which have gone all over the internet today, show that this iPad is pretty close to the current MacBook Pros
Geekbench benchmarks for the new iPad Pro have shown up online, and the scores are certainly impressive. The iPad reports ~5030 in single-core, and ~18000 in multi-core. The single core score goes to toe-to-toe with a 2.6 GHz i7 2018 MacBook Pro …
The iPad Pro has closed the gap on the top of the line laptops that Apple sells.  It can beat a MacBook Pro when it comes to single core use, and it is nudging close to it in multicore stuff.
Comparison speed chart for iPad Pro
Speed comparisons 

So what does this really mean?

It’s difficult to really say what all this means right now.   Without getting to use the iPad Pro I can’t confirm the speed, but it says that the iPad is close to the speed of a computer twice its price. That closing of the gap probably won’t turn anyone that uses a Mac to an iPad user, nor should it.  As I mentioned yesterday, people might favor one system over the other. If you love the Mac, I wouldn’t be worried about what the future means.  The Mac isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – but –

Apple should create its own Mac chips

Since the TouchBar popped up in the MacBook Pro, Apple has started to put more of its own silicone in it’s Mac line-up.  The MacBook Pros, iMac Pro, and the MacBook Air are now getting a new T2 chip inside them to help with safety and offloading some of the things that a computer does.  The T2 chip does help speed things up but the main brain of the computer is still coming from Intel. Apple is at the mercy of a company that has been fraught with delays and has almost been passed up by Apple itself.  I’m not trying to be hard on Intel.  I think they’re a great company, but the gap that Apple has managed to close with its A series CPUs should be making in the everyone scared. If the iPad Pro is actually able to perform at a speed similar to Intel’s chips in Apple’s best laptops, why shouldn’t Apple place its chip inside its laptops instead of Intels?

Why Apple Won’t Do It

I think there are three main reasons why Apple won’t make the change.

It’s not worth it

I mentioned this a few weeks ago, when I wrote about the chips inside Apple’s chips, if Apple was to put it’s own chips (hopefully it could make it even more powerful than the iPad chip) into the Mac line they would have to overhaul and rewrite its macOS to work with those chips.  That could be a huge undertaking. There have been rumors for almost as long as the A series chips have been around that they have built and tested a Mac running on an A series chip and still that Mac hasn’t been released today. I’m not sure if they haven’t jumped at the chance to move because they haven’t been able to close the gap until recently or what, but they haven’t made the switch. If it was something that they thought would work, I think they would have changed a long time ago.  So maybe the re-working of macOS wouldn’t see enough advantages to do all the work needed.

Splitting the OS

There’s also the desktop chips.  The MacBook Pro is a fast computer, but it also uses a smaller chip than what’s inside the desktop computers.  If Apple didn’t have a desktop class system then macOS would be split between desktop and laptop systems running on different hardware and software.  That’s not something that they would want to do. But I have to wonder what a desktop class A series would be like if they made one…

The iPhone effec

One of the driving principals at Apple has always been not to stay still.  Steve Jobs once claim that if you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else well.
“If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.” Steve Jobs
The iPod was the device that really brought Apple fame.  They built an empire on the music device (with the help of the mac) and every few months some company would produce the iPod killer. The thing that actually killed the iPod was the iPhone. I don’t think that Apple will kill the Mac.  It’s still a great business, the computers are great if not a mess (I’m planning an article on how messy it actually is soon), and the Mac still does things that the iPad can’t do. But Apple knows that it needs to cannibalize itself. The thing that will beat the computer is most likely the iPad.  It is the future of computing and every iteration brings it closer to being able to do that. If Apple were to start working on chips for the Mac, would that push the Mac into the next generation?  Maybe.  Is the Mac the next step in computing?  No.

What’s down the line?

I don’t want to say that Apple will never put their own silicon in the Mac.  In fact, I wish they would.  The MacBook Air with the A12X chip could have been a better and cheaper system than what they announced.  It might have been able to reach the $999 price and be faster than the computer they just announced this week. What I expect to happen though is the iPad will become more capable of computing.  The hardware is getting to a point where it is right up there with Apple’s fastest.  It won’t be long before it surpasses it. What needs to improve is the software of the iPad, and I think steps are being made for that for next year.  Still, Apple needs to be hearing the ring of users asking for Final Cut and Logic on the iPad.  I’ll go further and ask for Xcode (even though I don’t code). Photoshop is coming, bridging that major software gap that’s been there.  If Apple wants the iPad to be the next computer (what’s a computer) then it needs to lead the way in hardware and software. Intel might want to be scared of the future.

Wrap up

Of course, I could be way off.  I’m just a writer and not an engineer. I’m also bullish on the iPad and iOS as the future of the computer.  As it is currently the future of computing. As always make sure you’re following the site on Twitter and Facebook.  There’s also a Facebook Group that’s to get going, so join us over there. You can also sign up for our mailing list and get the weekly update sent directly to your e-mail so that you don’t miss any of the important things happening during the week.

5 thoughts on “Apple should use the iPad Pro’s A12X chip in its Macs, but it won’t”

Leave a Reply