Apple AAPL will use Intel’s INTC hardware interface in its new Macs, confirming an extension of support to the chip maker to supply external connectivity ports. The latest collaboration comes after Intel revealed details about its upcoming Thunderbolt 4, a hardware port that allows users to connect external peripherals to the computer.
The new port is based on the USB4 specification standard, and allows users to plug in USB-C connectors used in Thunderbolt 3. The new interface can be used over a single connection for both data transfer and power delivery.
Markedly, on Jun 22, the iPhone maker had announced its plans to switch from Intel CPUs in Macs to its custom silicon-based ones called Apple silicon on the ARM architecture at the first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020. (Read more: Apple Ditches Intel Chips, Updates WatchOS, iPadOS)
Despite the latest arrangement, Apple is yet to offer Thunderbolt support on any products outside of Intel-powered Macs. Reportedly, the ARM-based version of macOS might drop support for Intel, NVIDIA and AMD AMD graphics chips.
Although Apple silicon Macs will include high-performing Apple-designed integrated GPU, it is unclear if Apple will discontinue support for AMD GPUs for Intel Macs in future versions of macOS. This implies that third-party PCI-E GPU vendors may still generate revenues from the iPhone maker.
Apple Inc. Price and Consensus
Apple Inc. price-consensus-chart | Apple Inc. Quote
Initiatives to Strengthen Sales, Competitive Edge
Apple undoubtedly lags Lenovo, HP HPQ and Dell Technologies in the PC space in terms of market share. Notably, during the second-quarter 2020, HP surpassed Lenovo, securing the top vendor position, with a market share of 25% per IDC data.
Meanwhile, Lenovo slipped to the second position, with a market share of 24.1%. Dell Technologies, Apple and Acer Group hold the next three positions and have a respective market share of 16.6%, 7.7%, and 6.7%, respectively. (Read more: PC Sales Soar in Q2 on Increased Demand, Improved Supply Chain)
Further, Apple reported lower second-quarter fiscal 2020 Mac sales, which totaled $5.35 billion, down 2.9% year over year, accounting for 9.2% of total sales. However, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company expects Mac sales to improve in third-quarter fiscal 2020. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Apple made available a Developer Transition Kit for app makers to get better understanding on Apple silicon before a consumer release, and has implemented new virtualization and emulation software to ensure that ARM Macs can run Intel-based apps.
Apple is also bringing out a new version of Rosetta — the program that helped make the transition from Power PC. With macOS Big Sur, Apple updated its own applications to support the new Apple chips natively, including Final Cut Pro. Rosetta 2 in Big Sur will automatically and transparently translate existing apps for compatibility.
Meanwhile, MacOS will have a dropdown in the upper right area of the screen that provides one-click access to display brightness, volume, dark mode, WiFi controls and more. Additionally, Notification Center has been cleaned up, bringing notifications/widgets into one unified view while making it easier to clear out lots of notifications at once.
Moreover, Maps on MacOS has been redesigned with support for in-door maps, guides, favorite locations, among others. Further, a Privacy Report feature will provide added transparency to tap different trackers various websites use.
Based on the aforementioned initiatives, we believe, Apple is finally focusing on bringing new features to Mac, a product line that suffered lack of innovation compared to iPhone and iPad for a long period of time.
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