Arm-based iMac, 13-inch MacBook Pro expected by end of the year, Kuo predicts

Announcement expected at WWDC, analyst predicts.

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Future Mac computers will reportedly be powered by Apple's homemade Arm-based chips, unlike this 2019 iMac shown above. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple is expected to announce its first Arm-based Mac at the Worldwide Developers Conference this week, according to a research note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The first five models using the processors are expected to include a 13-inch MacBook Pro and an iMac with an "all-new form factor," according to Kuo's note, which was seen by Apple Insider.

Apple is reportedly ready to begin using of its own homemade chips for Mac computers, just as it did in 2014 with its newly revealed iPad tablet. The move, which has been long rumored, would mean Apple would start dropping Intel's processors chips from being the brains of at least some of its computers. The partnership, which was publicly announced in 2005, has made possible devices like the MacBook Air laptop

The move to use its own chips to power its Mac computers would give Apple an opportunity to custom-design chips that fit its penchant for ever smaller, thinner and longer-lasting devices.

The first models using an Apple-designed processor could show as early as the fourth quarter, with the Arm-based iMac shipping with a 24-inch screen, Kuo predicted, according to 9to5Mac.

The company's latest chip, the A13 Bionic, powers the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE. Apple's chips are based on technology designed by Arm Holdings, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Softbank. Arm's designs are also used as the basis for chips made by Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia.

WWDC 2020 is set to take place on June 22 and will be held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.