Apple just dropped a huge hint that the Arm MacBook may be announced at WWDC

Alex Blake

In announcing that WWDC 2020 would be an online-only event due to the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19), Apple gave us a massive clue that the MacBook will feature prominently at the show. That hint didn’t come in anything Apple actually said in its press release, but rather in the main image it used to advertise the blockbuster event.

Put simply, Apple’s image is a clear allusion to the Mac, and more specifically, to its MacBook line. Let’s break it down.

The image takes the form of a metallic silver background with a shiny Apple logo positioned right in the center, surrounded on either side by what appear to be three stickers: “Hello,” “WWDC” and “2020.” Each of these elements are clues to the savvy observer.

Ever since it launched the 12-inch MacBook in 2015, Apple has replaced the light-up Apple logo on the back of its MacBook laptops with a plain metallic version. This rendering of the logo catches and reflects the light, in contrast to the matte finish that it’s placed on. That’s depicted on the WWDC image, with a space gray background sitting behind a shiny Apple logo. It’s like looking at the back of a MacBook.

Go to any coffee shop and you’re likely to see a dozen MacBook users with stickers adorning their devices. This is a curiously MacBook habit in the world of Apple — you’re much less likely to see an iPhone or an iPad decked out in stickers than you are a MacBook. Those three words in the WWDC image? Clearly stickers, what with their white borders and drop shadows. The point is even clearer when you consider the MacBook-esque surface they’re apparently plastered onto.

The final clue comes in the form of the “hello” sticker. This is written in almost exactly the same cursive script famously used to advertise the original Macintosh in 1984 (and the original iMac in 1998). The word that cursive font spelled out on billboards around the world? “Hello.”

So, it appears to be a dead certainty that Apple is going to make WWDC 2020 all about MacBooks. But what exactly should we expect? It must be big news if Apple is going to center the entire event around it, after all. An update to the product line likely isn’t enough to demand this much of the spotlight.

That big news, we suspect, is the much-rumored switch to Arm processors. Well-connected analysts and leakers have been saying for months that Apple is imminently going to move away from Intel chips, and in November, we laid out exactly why WWDC is such a good bet for that to be announced. Ditching Intel in favor of its own custom-made processors would be massive news from Apple, and what better time to do it than at its weeklong developer event?

It looks like the rumors could be right. With WWDC heading online in a mere three months, make sure you tune in for some potentially explosive news.