Some of the new features in macOS Monterey for example are exclusively available for owners of Apple Silicon-based devices. This includes the ability to blur backgrounds in FaceTime Videos, copy live text from within images, and use the new, more detailed maps. Basically, it seems Apple is no longer willing to put in a lot of effort to bring these features to Intel-based Macs.
Engadget reports the limited support for Intel-based Macs is in stark contrast with the excellent support Apple provides for older smartphones. For example, the iPhone 6S, from September 2015, will be upgraded to iOS 15 later this year. But for Intel-based Macs, things are not looking great right now.
Comparing this to Apple’s last transition, the first Intel Macs arrived in January 2006, and Apple’s first Intel-only OS update arrived in the summer of 2009. Apple will likely continue to offer security and usability updates for older models, but the writing’s on the wall for any Intel running Mac currently on sale. If you’re looking to buy one of those machines today, you should be aware that you could be boxed out of using all those exciting new features announced at future WWDCs. Hey, you might even run out of new OSes to install in the not-too-distant future.