Speculation surrounding the potential for Apple to launch a range of ARM based Mac computers has been around for quite some time, but seems to have died off in recent times. As we get ever closer to this year’s WWDC, a French website has brought the historic Mac rumor back to life, reporting that a reliable source has inside knowledge that Apple is currently testing a prototype Mac powered by an ARM processor.

MacBidouille isn’t really up there on the list of immediately trustworthy sources for all things Apple, but there is enough history behind the ARM Mac speculation to suggest that there could be some truth in it. The website’s source has suggested that Tim Cook’s engineering team is currently in the process of testing several Mac variants, including a large-screen iMac, a more affordable Mac mini and a 13-inch MacBook. All of the prototype machines are said to be equipped with 64-bit ARM quad-core processors.

In addition to being built on top of ARM’s processor technology, the notebook machines are also being manufactured with a fresh new keyboard design. The change in keyboard allows the company to include an enlarged Magic Trackpad to significantly increase the gesture based navigation experience that is offered to the end-user. The same source is suggesting that the development process is at such an advanced stage that Apple could actually be ready to make a formal announcement as well as provide a roadmap for when the machines will be ready for public consumption. It’s extremely unlikely that this will happen at next month’s developer conference in San Francisco.

When it was first reported that Apple could potentially make the switch from Intel to ARM based processors for its Mac machines there were a number of obstacles that could have prevented the switch from actually happening. Things have progressed a little since then. Apple’s own internal advances in processor technology has meant that the Cupertino based company could finally have found themselves in a position where they can confidently make the move across to the ARM architecture safe in the knowledge that they can stay competitive with Intel’s offerings going forward.

The biggest advantage of having ARM architecture, specifically inside a MacBook, would be insane battery life. Imagine a MacBook that goes beyond the 20 hour mark!

We will be bringing extensive coverage of WWDC 2014 to our readers, so stay tuned for more news as it unfolds.

(Source: MacBidouille [Google Translate])

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