Could the 2019 iMac sport an Apple-made processor?

Obviously, my crystal ball was way off in predicting a 20th anniversary iMac. And I’m shocked that the all-in-one hasn’t seen a 2018 upgrade at all. But perhaps Apple has something REALLY special in mind.

So here’s a (admittedly improbable) scenario: the first iMac was revolutionary and saved Apple’s bacon, so what if the next iMac is just as revolutionary, sporting the first Apple processor made for desktops?

iMac Pro.jpg

Everyone expected this would happen first with a Mac laptop, but perhaps Apple plans to surprise us. After all, the Mac is the only product from the company that doesn’t pack an in-house designed chip.

My feverish mind conjures a scenario in which the iMac is the first Mac that changes this. The company’s laptops, Mac mini, Mac laptops, and upcoming modular Mac Pro would still pack Intel processors for those who aren’t ready to take that leap. And that leap would entail a lack of support for some Mac apps, a lack of Windows emulation, etc., so not everyone would be up for such a move.

Still, I think a lot of folks would love to see this. Writing for VentureBeat, Jeremy Horowitz penned a great article dubbed “Here are the 3 ways Apple could bring A-series chips to Macs.”

Read the op-ed for all three ways, but my favorite is that such Apple will come out with a top-of-line Mac chip that’s “considerably brawnier than anything it currently makes” and which will come in a new class with a new moniker. Here’s Jeremy’s most-excellent proposal for Apple-made chips:

  • Apple A13 for iPhones.

  • Apple A13 or A13X for iPads.

  • Apple Z1 with six to eight cores and 2.0GHz-2.5GHz base clock speeds for MacBook laptops.

  • Apple Z1 with eight to twelve cores and 3.0GHz-4.0GHz base clock speeds for professional desktop Macs.

  • W-Series: The tiny wireless chips inside AirPods, some Beats earphones, and Apple Watches, starting with W1 and currently on W3.

  • As the late Steve Jobs once said, Apple products work so well because the company makes “the whole widget.” There’s no reason to think that Apple isn’t interested in making its own processors. By designing its own chips, Apple can build hardware and software that work together better than any off-the-shelf processor. 

So I’d love to see an iMac with an “Z1” chip in early 2019.