After rumors circulating for some time that Apple was interested in making their own chips for the MacBook and iMac, it now that transition may start sooner than thought. Apple is looking to replace Intel and introduce their own likely ARM based chipset to the Mac, as they’ve already done for the iPhone and iPad as part of a plan to merge IOS and MacOS into one starting as early as 2020.
With ARM strength lying being it’s power efficiently it appearance is most likely going to appear first in a lower powered Mac like the 12-inch MacBook before being rolled out to the higher end devices, instead every Mac all at once.
This would give much needed time for developers to compile their Mac Apps for ARM a time that may span a couple years. There will most likely be a transition period where both x86 and ARM chipsets are supported in macOS for a couple years for Apple still supports devices from 2009 in High Sierra and it would be unlike them to cut these devices off from future releases the moment ARM laptops/desktops start showing up.
Now when it comes to running apps whether ARM or x86 there may be some emulation involved as Apple can license x86 from either AMD or Intel and since they are already partnered with AMD they may go that route.
End of the Hackintosh Era?
For us Hackintosher’s support is likely to still be here for years to come until that transition is finally over and x86 is rendered obsolete. With that we’ll either have to stubbornly stick to an “old” version of macOS in the way people still are attached to using decades old Windows 7 (me). I know I probably will stick with the old if in the future macOS becomes as restrictive as an iPhone, but until then I think were safe for at least 5 years and maybe longer than that. Who knows what operating system we’ll be using by then. I think hackintoshing will have a slow death and even slower depending on slow this rollout is and whether x86 is licensed from either Intel or AMD, unless of course theres some breakthrough with ARM and other companies started to abandon Intel as well, something like that could lead to an ARM-based Hackintosh.