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Intel to Make Apple’s Dreams Come True

“As we look ahead, we can envision some amazing products. And we don’t know how to build them with the existing PowerPC architecture,” said Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer during a conference dedicated to the transition to x86 microprocessors from Intel Corp.

Photo by PC Watch web-site

Well, Mr. Jobs is probably right – Intel’s processors can deliver loads of benefits to Apple in long-term, but probably can bring a lot of troubles in short-term. Just not to be unsupported by evidence, we weighted a number of  options Apple gets with its transition to Intel’s processors. In fact, that’s a pretty long list:

  • Intel can offer higher supply quantities than IBM and Freescale;
  • Intel can offer more rapid performance growth with its chips;
  • Product design flexibility due to Intel’s broad product portfolio;
  • Product price flexibility due to Intel’s broad product portfolio;
  • Intel-based PC are cheaper to build than IBM PowerPC-based (no water-cooling, standard components, etc);
  • Intel Pentium processors are typically faster than IBM PowerPC chips in desktop applications;
  • Increased performance of Intel Pentium and Xeon chips may allow Apple to target market segments seeking for higher performance;
  • Potentially more software makers may address Apple’s computers, provided that recompiling a Windows program for Mac OS X is a relatively easy task;
  • Customers may install two operating systems onto one Mac computer: Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, thanks to virtualization;
  • Apple Mac computers may now install open-source software;
  • Customers may still bite “Intel Inside”, “Intel Centrino” brands.

The most important thing for the company is that Apple’s main advantage – high-quality desktop OS – remains with the company. Furthermore, Apple promises that its Rosetta emulation tool will allow Mac users to keep their old software written for the PowerPC and run it on new Intel-based Macs. While the news that no new software has to be bought by existing clients for new Macs as well as the fact that Apple will continue the development of Mac OS X are definitely positive, they also bring a number of difficulties too…

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