While ARM SoC Macs are selling like hot cakes in a shrinking market, some analysts are projecting a strong projection of ARM PCs in the months and years to come. They could represent 30% of the market within four years.
Since the end of 2020, Apple has officially started its transition, not yet finalized, to ARM chips, leaving Intel processors behind. A small revolution in the consumer computing market, which has only reinforced efforts previously initiated by Qualcomm and a reality: RISC chips are on the rise, driven by the omnipresence of smartphones.
During an event, Steve Brazier, CEO of Canalys, a market analysis firm, indicated that “by 2026, not 2050, but 2026, in four years, half of cloud processors will be based on an ARM chip, and 30% of PCs will be equipped with an ARM processor”.
Apple at the forefront…
According to his company, ARM chips already control a sizable share of the PC market, thanks in large part to Apple and its Macs, whose sales appear to be weathering the global slump and even decline in sales, from around 15% in the third quarter of this year.
Currently, almost 100% of Macs sold by Apple are ARM, says Canalys. The Mac Pro, for example, and the top-of-the-range Mac mini still remain under Intel processors. With its Apple Silicon Macs and for the third quarter of 2022, the Cupertino giant controlled around 13.5% of the PC market, according to IDC, behind Lenovo, number 1, HP, number 2 and Dell, in third position with 16.1 %. Nevertheless, this fourth position hides two good news for Apple. On the one hand, the company sold more Macs during the third quarter of 2022 (10.06 million) than during the same quarter in 2021 (7.174). On the other hand, the Californian firm only sells premium machines, which means that it generates much more value for a lower number of sales.
… and soon the PC world under Windows
While Macs are the most notable and interesting ARM-powered PCs in terms of potential, ARM-powered Chromebooks are also present in the market, although not very popular.
At the end of 2022, and according to the research institutes surveyed, the market shares controlled by ARM PCs oscillate between 13 and 15%, which in both cases marks a fairly strong increase compared to 9.4% of the second quarter of 2022.
The boss of Canalys is convinced that ARM has the potential to grow even more, especially if large PC vendors, who are currently mainly loyal to Intel and AMD, adopt ARM chips.
The Microsoft’s efforts to facilitate the development of applications for Windows on ARM are an essential first step in this direction. Qualcomm’s recent announcements should also bring a breath of fresh air to the PC market. The San Diego company has just lifted the veil on the future of its ARM chip for PC. She has so far only introduced Oryon, the heart of what will be the main competitor of the M1 and M2. But it could be the weapon that Windows PCs under ARM have been waiting for to be able to respond to the insolent success of Apple Macs for two years.
Still, it will take at least that for ARM PCs to gain the 15% market share they still lack in the next four years…