A new report claims that Apple may stop relying on Intel to manufacture the processors for its Mac computers. Instead, Apple would use its own chip technology, as it does in the iPad and iPhone.
According to Bloomberg’s Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows and Ian King, “Apple Inc. (AAPL) is exploring ways to replace Intel Corp. (INTC) processors in its Mac personal computers with a version of the chip technology it uses in the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the company’s research. 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.”
The Mac Observer’s Jeff Gamet quoted Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, who said, “While we believe it is inevitable that Mac + OS X and iPhone + iPad + iOS merge at some point, we don’t believe it will likely happen for a few years. From our understanding, the key reason is because OS X is optimized for Intel x86 processors while iOS is for ARM RISC (reduced instruction set computing).” Mr. Wu added, “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.”
David Zielenziger with International Business Times quoted another analyst, Gus Richard from Piper Jaffray, who noted, “There’s a trend back to internally developed silicon away from merchant silicon.”
CNET’s Brooke Crothers added another twist to the speculation, writing, “And let’s throw in a point brought up by a semiconductor industry source, who wished to remain anonymous. Recent management changes at Apple may be behind a renewed push toward chip independence — that is, getting all of Apple’s devices running on one operating system on top of one Apple chip architecture.”