The Blender Foundation has just announced that Apple has joined its development fund as a corporate Patron member! This is the latest news in a string of similar developments with tech/entertainment industry giants joining the Blender Development Fund.
— Blender (@Blender) October 14, 2021
This newest addition to the roster of Blender backers' support is not limited to the financial realm, with Apple committing development resources among other things to shore up Blender support on its macOS platforms. This can be immediately seen with Apple's first submitted patch: the long-awaited Metal backend for Cycles GPU rendering on macOS! Further development and integrations are to be expected.
First official patch submitted by Apple: Metal backend for Cycles GPU rendering on macOS. https://t.co/DdHP6u8znp
— Ton Roosendaal (@tonroosendaal) October 14, 2021
Apple joining the development fund means that Blender now has major silicon makers on board (Apple, Nvidia, AMD, Intel), which can only mean great things for Blender's performance and support on the widest range of hardware possible. Keep in mind that becoming a development fund member does not give the companies any ownership or control over Blender, which will always remain free and open source.