Apple unveiled some major changes at their recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 20). There will be all-new versions of iOS and iPadOS (14) and a new version of macOS (11, so-called Big Sur).
They also announced they plan to move away from Intel processors and switch to their own ARM processors across the board. They already use ARM processors in their iPhones and iPads, so the shift affects their laptops and desktops.
It all sounds very exciting but I'm a bit grumpy about it. I have a fairly modern iPhone and iPad but an older MacBook Pro: an early 2013 model.
Apple has decided this particular model is obsolete and will not be allowed to run the new version of macOS. The specs of my early 2013 model are virtually identical to the late 2013 model and I'm sure my MacBook Pro would run Big Sur just fine. What they've really decided is that it's time for me to give them more money.
It's a great business if you can get it. Sell hardware that's impossible (or, at least, very tricky) to upgrade, couple that with complete control of the OS and then decide on a whim to make people buy some new hardware after seven years. No wonder they're so rich.
If Windows was any good I'd look to swapping back, but Windows has been a detestable pile of poo since Windows 7 went out of date. I hate Windows 10 almost as much as I hated my previous mop.
The simple truth is macOS is just so much better than Windows (in my humble opinion, anyway) and their hardware is pretty good too. I must therefore consider buying a new laptop or desktop if I want to avoid being hurled out of an airlock and into the vacuum of an unsupported OS.
The thing is, should I limp through for a while and wait for ARM-based hardware, or should I just go ahead and buy an Intel machine now?
This is a question the article I link to attempts to address.
Apple claim they'll transition to ARM-based processors over a period of two years, but the first macOS machines to use them will be available before 2020 is done.
The ARM-based machines should be cheaper for Apple to make but I'm pretty sure they won't be cheaper for the consumer to buy. This is Apple we're talking about after all. Therefore price is not a consideration.
Apple claim they will continue to support Intel-based hardware for many years to come but it will at least start to feel out of date when the ARM-based hardware starts to ship.