Chips & Processors

Apple Reported Exploring Mac Transition from Intel

Apple Reported Exploring Mac Transition from Intel
November 6, 2012 1:38PM

Bookmark and Share
One argument to merge Mac OS X and iOS, which runs on ARM chips, is to simplify the architecture while simultaneously leveraging the large code base that has been developed on iOS by both Apple and third-party vendors via the App Store, said analyst Shaw Wu. Merging could also allow Apple to deliver a more seamless and integrated experience.

APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.

News reports are swirling around Apple looking into the possibility of tapping ARM-based chips for its Macintosh computers -- at Intel's expense.

Bloomberg Businessweek is citing "people familiar with the company's research" as sources in a report that claims Apple is exploring ways to replace Intel processors with a version of the chip it uses in the iPhone and iPad.

"Apple engineers have grown confident that the chip designs used for its mobile devices will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops, said three people with knowledge of the work, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are confidential," Businessweek reported. "Apple began using Intel chips for Macs in 2005."

Change a Few Years Away

Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agree, told us he's not surprised at the rumors because industry watchers have been discussing this transition since the iPad shipped in 2010 and Mac OS X Lion, which borrowed heavily from iOS, shipped in 2011.

"We believe it is inevitable to merge iOS and Mac but not likely for a few years, as Mac code is optimized for Intel," Wu said.

"From our understanding, the key reason is because OS X is optimized for Intel x86 processors while iOS is for ARM RISC," Wu said. "It will likely take some time to optimize OS X and hence Mac for ARM. In addition, Intel processors are much more powerful for running compute-intensive Mac applications and for development."

Intel's Battery Life

From Wu's perspective, one argument to merge is to simplify the architecture while simultaneously leveraging the large code base that has been developed on iOS by both Apple and third-party vendors via the App Store.

What's more, he added, merging could also allow Apple to deliver a more seamless and integrated experience across its platforms. The other reality, he noted, is that Mac represents only 14 percent to 18 percent of Apple's revenue, compared with 45 percent to 50 percent for iPhone and 20 percent to 25 percent for iPad.

"We believe this is a challenge to Intel to deliver stronger battery life. Today, when using an 11-inch MacBook Air, the smallest form-factor mobile Mac, we notice that it lasts about four to five hours under heavy use, which is only half of nine to 10 hours for an iPad."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Chips & Processors
1. IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Chips
2. Intel Heralds New Xeon Server Chip
3. Intel Aims To Eliminate All PC Cables
4. Chinese Cyberspying Case Stalled
5. Intel Clocks 4 GHz in New Core i7




 Most Popular Articles
1. IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Cloud Computing Chips
2. Microsoft Targets CRM in Government Cloud
3. Amazon Unveils Zocalo for Cloud-Based Collaboration
4. Google CEO: Is the 40-Hour Workweek Really Necessary?
5. More Than Half of Networks Not Ready for Internet of Things

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Lenovo Still in Small Windows Tablets
  How Chrome Eats Your Battery Life
  Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
  Investor Wants EMC To Spin Off VMware
  Schools Buy Million Chromebooks in Q2

 Technology Marketplace
Big Data
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
CIO Issues
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Cloud Computing
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Data Storage
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Enterprise Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Enterprise I.T.
Register for an upcoming ISACA® certification exam today
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Enterprise Software
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Small Business
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More