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Apple Loves Intel?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on May 23, 2005

Is Steve Jobs finally succumbing to the Dark Side? The Wall Street Journal is reporting Apple is in serious discussions with Intel to use its chips in its Macintosh line.
There’s plenty of reasons why this might make sense. Jobs & Co. last year were unhappy after current supplier IBM couldn’t deliver enough chips on time. Switching to Intel would level the playing field by letting Apple use the same architecture as that of Dell and HP—and we all know Apple clobbers them on design. Then there’s the massive name recognition Jobs is enjoying from the I-gotta-have-one iPod lineup. With the iron ever-so-hot, it’d be a great time to make a decisive strike to gain market share.
But who are we kidding? This is Steve Jobs, a man who has always marched to his own tune. These rumors have been around for years, and have come to naught. Seems like if a switch were to be made, Apple would have done it when they released OS X a couple of years ago. I’m no software whiz, but seems like there’d be a lot of code rewriting that would have to occur now.
Not surprisingly, both companies are mum on whether the current rumor round is true. Could be a ploy to get better terms from IBM. Stranger things have happened, particularly in the world of techdom, but this pairing would be really big indeed.

Reader Comments

May 23, 2005 2:34 PM

I've been a Mac User since 1991. I think the rumor has some legs this time. Apple could not move to Intel before due to the need to support Classic. The need for Classic is declining and Steve Jobs held a funeral for OS9 at one trade show. They may not use intel in the workstation line however, it may be for the Xserve line and a push to get in to the enterprise. OSX-Server for x86-64/Itanium unlimited users $999


May 23, 2005 4:45 PM

Darwin, the operating system beneath OSX, is already freely available for x86. The rest should be trivial.... i wouldn't be surprised if it could be done without a single line of code changed


May 23, 2005 6:05 PM

There isn't much that needs to happen since Mac OS X runs on the Unix-based kernel. Without getting technichal, all linux systems, which are very similar run on x86 chips without a problem.

I'd like to see Apple continue to use IBM's chip from the iMac and better systems. It's by far the best chip out now, that's why gaming consoles are moving towards it. Where I'd be excited about Apple using the Intel P4 chips, would be for the eMac and Mac Mini systems, making an Apple available for $300 or less and increasing the marcket share tremendously.


May 25, 2005 11:58 AM

Check out the article on C|Net.
It gives some detailed pros and cons. Technical stuff that a layman can understand. According to them, there are 3 major reasons why it will NOT happen. 1) Opens up Apple to cloning. Anyone remember Steve's hatred of clones? 2) Culture and Marketing. How often does Phil Schiller compare slower clock speed Power PC chips to Intel processors? Every chance he can! 3) Hello worms and viruses.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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