Topic: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?  (Read 8424 times)

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Offline Javora

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Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« on: May 23, 2005, 04:56:02 pm »
I came across this report while I was looking for the DVD article.  It looks like Apple is in talks with Intel about using Intel processors.  Gee has Jobs finely decided that he wants his company to have more than a 3% market share??!?  Does Intel feel that the AMD/Microsoft relationship is getting a little too cozy??!?  This is probably much ado about nothing but I have been waiting for this to happen for so long.  The thing is, I remember reading a couple of years ago about Apple developing a Intel based copy of its operating system.  Speculation was running wild then, I remember that someone from Apple (I think) said that it was only for debugging purposes.   ::)

Anyway here is the Reuters report:


Quote
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc. has been in talks that could lead to it using Intel Corp. chips in its Macintosh computers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, reigniting decade-old speculation and sparking a 5 percent rise in Apple's stock price.

The report, citing two industry executives with knowledge of recent discussions between the companies, said Apple was expected to agree to use Intel chips. But it said the talks could break down or could be a tactic to gain negotiating leverage with Apple's current chip supplier, International Business Machines Corp.

At stake for Apple is a more predictable and consistent supply of microprocessors -- the computing engine in computers -- as well as potentially lower prices for Apple Macintosh computers, which historically have cost more than PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems.

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy and Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment on the report, which they termed "rumor and speculation."

But industry analysts on Monday expressed skepticism that Apple would soon drop IBM's PowerPC processor for Intel's Pentium chips, which power more than 80 percent of the world's personal computers, noting the momentous task of porting, or rewriting, Apple's OS X operating system as well as all the software programs that run on PowerPC chips to Intel's.

"It's just too much software to have to change," said Kevin Krewell, editor-in-chief of newsletter Microprocessor Report. "This is just putting more pressure on IBM to fix these problems."

IBM has in the past had problems in producing enough working G5 PowerPC processors for Apple's Power Mac computers and the G5 chip uses too much power, hence producing too much heat, to be used in its popular iBook and PowerBook laptops.

Though Apple has less than a 3 percent share of the PC market, its embrace of Intel chips would mark a fundamental change to the computer industry's historic alliances and rivalries. Apple has long blazed its own path by avoiding chips from Intel or rival processor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which together power nearly all the world's PCs.

"It's like Ferrari going to BMW for an engine," said Richard Doherty, the research director for technology consulting and research firm Envisioneering. "This is seen as a whole changing of church."

"To port to an x86 platform would be a massive undertaking and I'm highly suspicious of that," said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, referring to Intel chips.

Apple always has a lot of projects in the works and could be evaluating Intel chips for use in future products, Bajarin said, adding that when Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs was asked Sunday night at a Wall Street Journal technology conference whether Apple would use Intel chips, "Jobs basically said no."

"He said, 'We've had talks with Intel' and that's about it," Bajarin said.

Shares of Apple rose $2.02, or 5.4 percent, to $39.57 in morning trade and shares of Intel rose 26 cents, or 1 percent, to $26.61.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said any such transition to Intel chips would not be easy for Apple. "Apple has put so much behind the PowerPC in terms of how much better the PowerPC is than Intel's processors," Enderle said. "It is risky." (Additional reporting by Daniel Sorid in San Francisco and Bill Berkrot in New York)

Offline jualdeaux

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2005, 05:43:27 pm »
I just read this report and was going to post it myself.

If nothing else, this could be the first step toward getting the Mac OS on other, non OEM, PC platforms. That will definitely give MS a run for its money. And would make people like me more willing to swicth over, or at least give it a long tryout to see if I like it.

And, it might even make it much more attractive for game makers to start making games for the new OS.
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Offline Clark Kent

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2005, 07:01:26 pm »
This is also a very very old mac rumor that has popped up every few years.  My personal bet is that Apple is feeling edgy over the new Xbox, which offers power PC chips (the CPU macs use) with more power and higher CPU speed than is currently offered in the highest level Powermac.  Not a good move if they had wanted to maintain a strong relationship with apple.
A ported over Mac os is supposed to run Mac software at 80% of current mac operating speeds, though.  Also, I doubt apple will make a move into the larger market, as microsof would crush them financially , and probably use soem pretty dirty tactics to do so.  Apple has been happy with it's small niche market, and have been making record profits, along with dominating the portable music market because of their iPods. 
Just my opinion, though, with alot of conjecture.
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Offline Monty

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2005, 05:06:48 am »
Link to full story

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And it's on that note where Apple's relative position in the personal computer market will hurt it. Intel's biggest customers like Dell, HP and others on the Windows side of the computing world, have a bigger voice in what features wind up on Intel's priority list. Apple's relatively small 2% to 3% market share would necessarily place its requests for new features on Intel chips at a relative disadvantage.

It's also not impossible that the latest round of Apple-Intel rumors are a deliberate leak from Apple, designed to ratchet up the pressure on IBM and win concessions.


Link to full story

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It also claims that Apple's adoption of Intel chips would give it a chance to compete head on against Dell.

Now, you and I might believe that Dell is Intel's representative on earth, but we've heard mumblings against the PC company now for several months.

The inner feeling at Chipzilla is, it appears, that Intel has created a Dell monster that now is a little bit too powerful.


If Apple were to do this I think that they would be better off with AMD.   Not because of anything in the chip design but because of power and influence. 

Apple as a customer would be useful but not exactly major to Intel how much could Apple influence the design and features in the Pentium IV or its successors?  With Intel the Apple deal would merely be another feather in the headdress.

With AMD Apple would be both a major coup and a major source of stable revenue.  With AMD Apple would have the power and influence that Dell has with Intel.  Power and influence that Apple lacks in its relationship with IBM as its sole supplier of PowerPC chips.  With AMD the Apple deal would be the biggest peacock feather in their hat, one that they would do much to avoid losing.  Apple would be able to influence the chip design in ways that they could not concieve of with Intel.   It might even be worthwhile to AMD to use custom pinouts on the chip so that only those chips made for the Apple market could be used in Apple computers (letting Apple controll upgrades) something I doubt Intel would consider.. 
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Offline Javora

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2005, 07:05:06 am »
This is also a very very old mac rumor that has popped up every few years.  My personal bet is that Apple is feeling edgy over the new Xbox, which offers power PC chips (the CPU macs use) with more power and higher CPU speed than is currently offered in the highest level Powermac.  Not a good move if they had wanted to maintain a strong relationship with apple.
A ported over Mac os is supposed to run Mac software at 80% of current mac operating speeds, though.  Also, I doubt apple will make a move into the larger market, as microsof would crush them financially , and probably use soem pretty dirty tactics to do so.  Apple has been happy with it's small niche market, and have been making record profits, along with dominating the portable music market because of their iPods. 
Just my opinion, though, with alot of conjecture.

Your right this is a old rumor, one that has gotten a lot of milage.  Personally I feel that IBM made the right move with the PowerPC/X Box deal, especially when you consider how many X Box 360's will be sold compaired to Apple machines.  The X Box is just too big a deal to pass up in favor of Apple.  You also have to factor in what the report said about the heat issues that the PowerPC chip has, it may not be viable for Apple to release the Mac with those chips for that reason.

Microsoft really can't crush Apple, remember when Bill Gates gave Apple approx. $50,000,000 USD back in the mid '90s.  That was in part because Microsoft was facing antitrust violations in Federal court.  Along with settling any outstanding patent suits that Apple had against Microsoft at the time IIRC.  If Microsoft tries anything to hurt Apple, Microsoft will end up right back in court again facing those same antitrust violations.  Since Microsoft has already been declared a monoply once already, Microsoft may not fair so well the next time.  Apple's move to an X86 chip could also explain why Apple decided to create its own Office software in favor of Microsoft Office, this way Apple can appear to have everything customers ever need.

Offline Death_Merchant

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2005, 10:34:18 am »
MacOS X can run on Intel chips, but why?

Sure, better laptop chips, a dual-core CPU solution, better pricing....

But, moving to a different architecture would also be a huge undertaking. Even if Apple has a ready-made build of OS X, all of the applications for the platform would need to be recompiled at the very least.

There's a much simpler explanation available. The Apple-Intel conversations that the WSJ is reporting likely have to do with Intel's Xscale CPU, a cool little chip that is fantastic for things like appliances and portable devices (like gadgets and set-top boxes). If Apple is looking at branching out into other consumer electronics hardware, the Xscale would be make sense.
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Offline Clark Kent

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2005, 11:59:17 am »
This is also a very very old mac rumor that has popped up every few years.  My personal bet is that Apple is feeling edgy over the new Xbox, which offers power PC chips (the CPU macs use) with more power and higher CPU speed than is currently offered in the highest level Powermac.  Not a good move if they had wanted to maintain a strong relationship with apple.
A ported over Mac os is supposed to run Mac software at 80% of current mac operating speeds, though.  Also, I doubt apple will make a move into the larger market, as microsof would crush them financially , and probably use soem pretty dirty tactics to do so.  Apple has been happy with it's small niche market, and have been making record profits, along with dominating the portable music market because of their iPods. 
Just my opinion, though, with alot of conjecture.

Your right this is a old rumor, one that has gotten a lot of milage.  Personally I feel that IBM made the right move with the PowerPC/X Box deal, especially when you consider how many X Box 360's will be sold compaired to Apple machines.  The X Box is just too big a deal to pass up in favor of Apple.  You also have to factor in what the report said about the heat issues that the PowerPC chip has, it may not be viable for Apple to release the Mac with those chips for that reason.

Microsoft really can't crush Apple, remember when Bill Gates gave Apple approx. $50,000,000 USD back in the mid '90s.  That was in part because Microsoft was facing antitrust violations in Federal court.  Along with settling any outstanding patent suits that Apple had against Microsoft at the time IIRC.  If Microsoft tries anything to hurt Apple, Microsoft will end up right back in court again facing those same antitrust violations.  Since Microsoft has already been declared a monoply once already, Microsoft may not fair so well the next time.  Apple's move to an X86 chip could also explain why Apple decided to create its own Office software in favor of Microsoft Office, this way Apple can appear to have everything customers ever need.


I couldn't agree more about the Xbox thing, except for one thing- offering a higher speed processor to MS for the XBox than they offer Apple for their Power Macs.  From what I've read, there is not stock computer more capable than the power mac when it comes to dealing with heat.  If a mass produced gamestation can handle a 3 core 3.2 GHz G5, then so could a computer. 
Like I said, this was a great offer for IBM, and a good move to provide for the X Box.  however, it's a bad move to offer it to the X Box, and not offer that, or something as good as it to Apple.  Assuming that they wanted to maintain their business relations with Apple.
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Offline Javora

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2005, 07:52:33 am »

I couldn't agree more about the Xbox thing, except for one thing- offering a higher speed processor to MS for the XBox than they offer Apple for their Power Macs.  From what I've read, there is not stock computer more capable than the power mac when it comes to dealing with heat.  If a mass produced gamestation can handle a 3 core 3.2 GHz G5, then so could a computer. 
Like I said, this was a great offer for IBM, and a good move to provide for the X Box.  however, it's a bad move to offer it to the X Box, and not offer that, or something as good as it to Apple.  Assuming that they wanted to maintain their business relations with Apple.


and

Quote
Apple has been happy with it's small niche market, and have been making record profits...

Are you just talking about PowerMac's or are you talking about iMac's and Apple laptops as well in regards to the heat issue? I agree a full sized PowerMac will handle the heat but the other two categories are not so well off because if the limited space.  Granted you wouldn't see a top end processor in the iMac or a laptop, but if IBM never resolves the heat issues when would you see that processor in those types of models?

As far as the XBox/IBM deal goes it would depend on the contract that Microsoft maneuvered IBM into.  Microsoft has the clout to push or force other companies into a contract that favors Bill and company.  Microsoft may very well have for lack of better words "demanded" exclusive access to IBM's latest greatest processor.  With IBM not being in the greatest financial position, this deal was too sweet to pass up regardless of the specifics of the contract.  Which is why I added the second quote because even though Apple seems to like its niche market, they will never have the clout that Microsoft has and Apple will suffer for it.  If Microsoft did force IBM to sell it's best processor only to Microsoft, then I wouldn't be surprised to see ads stating that Microsoft's XBox's are even faster than the most powerful Mac's.  That is the sort of dirty trick I would expect from Microsoft.

Please note that I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I'm just curious about your thoughts.

Offline Nemesis

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!? UPDATE
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2005, 08:37:28 am »
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update Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned.

Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.

The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor.

IBM, Intel and Apple declined to comment for this story.
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Offline toasty0

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!? UPDATE
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2005, 09:30:59 am »
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update Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned.

Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.

The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor.

IBM, Intel and Apple declined to comment for this story.



I'm not sure what to think about this decision. On the one hand, I think that Jobs has lost his mind jumping into the Arena full of very aggressive and extremely hungry lions. On the other hand, it's about time Mac open up its architecture ( to X86 ) to open source and easily developed applications.
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Offline Clark Kent

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2005, 10:49:04 am »
I disagree toasty.  I think Apple has been about a niche market for the last 20 years and hasn't really actively pursued a large market share over that whole time, at least as far as the mac goes. 
I think if this happens it's because IBM has basically left Apple with no other choice.  Also, I'm not a huge fan of intel, I prefer AMD lines better, and intel seems to have been playing catch up lately.
My guess is that IBMis dumping Apple in favor of the XBOX sales.
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But tell me, can you heal what father's done?
Or fix this hole in a mother's son?
Can you heal the broken worlds within?
Can you strip away so we may start again?
Tell me, can you heal what father's done?
Or cut this rope and let us run?
Just when all seems fine, and I'm pain free, you jab another pin,
Jab another pin in me
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2005, 11:25:03 am »
I want my Amiga back.   ;)

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Offline Nemesis

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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2005, 11:39:49 am »
Outstanding Nemesis. thanks Bro. a Special WHOOT!!! just for you.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2005, 06:42:18 am »
Link to a commentary on the whole Apple to Intel switch

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Meet Apple's Nessie PC: On Rumors of Apple's Switch to Intel
By Timothy R. Butler
Editor-in-Chief, Open for Business
June 04, 2005, 16:25:42 EDT

Hardware
Having read the CNet News.com story about Apple’s supposed impending switch to x86, let me propose an excellent code name for this forthcoming system: “Nessie.” Like Nessie’s namesake Loch Ness Monster, the rumor of Mac OS on x86 rings of the stuff of tabloids, not something that people take seriously. Of course, that leaves us to ask what we are to make of it when one of the most respectable online computer news sources, News.com, reports as virtual fact that Apple will be switching to Intel, and the story apparently seems credible enough to get Reuters to pick it up.

That’s a question probably most analysts are wondering this weekend as we wait for Steve Jobs’ annual WWDC keynote on Monday. Has Jobs fallen off his rocker or is this simply another rumor on par with the perennial Apple PDA announcement that has never occurred? To be sure, that it is not reported as mere rumor, indicates that News.com thinks they are on to something; any journalist knows that as tempting as the “big scoop” may be, a reputation is built slowly but can be crushed by one under researched and over reported story. Just ask Dan Rather.

Unless Jobs is trying to dry up the demand for Mac hardware, so as to be able to concentrate more fully on everything iPod, I will submit four points as to why Apple will not be switching to Intel.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2005, 07:32:06 am »
Another article on the potential switch, with an AMD connection.

Link to full article

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THE RUMOURED APPLE MOVE to x86 is true, the INQUIRER has gotten independent confirmation of this. Prior to publication of this, sources had told the INQ that a switch was in the works. More importantly, they also said that Apple was playing the AMD card at full force, so don't be too surprised if a green logo shows up on some models.
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Offline Javora

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2005, 01:38:06 pm »
Huh, I come back from vacation and see this, surprising to say the least.   :o

So much for Apple being happy in a niche market.  Well if this is true I think it is a step in the right direction for Apple.  We will find out tomorrow for sure, but after so many rumors over the years I don't want to jump the gun now.  If this processor switch is true does it go far enough?  Are we going to finally see true duel boot Mac/Windows systems without having to use a emulator?  Or are we going to see special modded Intel chips that will only run Mac OS?  Heck, for that matter does Apple even have the clout to make Intel design a special chip just for the Mac?  I guess time will tell and I'm sure we will have a much better understanding on Monday.  But wouldn't it be nice to see companies like Dell, Gateway, and HP offering people a choice between Mac and Windows OS?  Or better yet to build your own Mac system?   ;D


BTW, nice catch on those Amiga links.   :thumbsup:

Offline Nemesis

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2005, 09:19:31 pm »
I don't actually expect that an X86 Mac would run Windows.  I suspect that much of the custom hardware (ROMS specifically) would in some form be migrated to the X86 Mac from the current PowerPC Macs.  Apple (I expect) will keep making proprietary Mac only hardware.  If I am correct then Apple has no interest in making the X86 Mac able to boot Windows or the Mac OS able to boot on a generic PC.  At best Mac users will be able to use generic processors and various cards (video etc) to upgrade the Apple made machines.

BTW, nice catch on those Amiga links.   :thumbsup:

With Mirror Mirror being down (and my having scheduled time to play grrr..) I had time on my hands.  I knew that there was current Amiga stuff out there and decided to go looking when Stephen made his comment. 

I've never actually used an Amiga.  When they were out and growing I thought that Commodore would manage to screw it up and dead end it and went PC instead.  The same applied to some very interesting Atari machines about the same time.   Unfortunately I was right or we might have far better gaming machines then we do now (and Microsoft would not be the monolith that they are). 
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Offline Javora

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Re: Apple and Intel - Together at last??!?
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2005, 05:44:54 am »
I don't actually expect that an X86 Mac would run Windows.  I suspect that much of the custom hardware (ROMS specifically) would in some form be migrated to the X86 Mac from the current PowerPC Macs.  Apple (I expect) will keep making proprietary Mac only hardware.  If I am correct then Apple has no interest in making the X86 Mac able to boot Windows or the Mac OS able to boot on a generic PC.  At best Mac users will be able to use generic processors and various cards (video etc) to upgrade the Apple made machines.

Good point, I think that my opportunistic side was getting the best of me for a moment.  I forgot about Apple using the Rom chips to keep a tight grip on hardware/software platform.  That is unless the hacker community can find a way around those Rom chips.  But the simple fact that the Mac OS is going to be coded for the Intel (and later AMD??!?) processors is going to remove a lot of obstacles.  We could however see a one-sided cross platform machine as Apple could allow Windows to run on a Mac but not vice versa.  At least until Microsoft cripples the OS, that is if Microsoft wanted to.  I guess we will have to wait and see.