Is Apple planning to drop Intel processors from Macs

first_imgApple made waves when it announced the first iPad in 2010, but not just because of the device itself. Inside the iPad was the Apple A4 chip, an ARM system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed entirely by Apple. The company has always liked to keep as much of the design process in-house as possible, and sources claim that this could soon extend to Mac processors. Could Apple be considering dropping Intel?Apple computers used to rely on Motorola’s PowerPC chips, but that changed in 2005. A switch over to Intel parts improved horsepower and efficiency dramatically. This decision was painful for the user base at first, but probably drove much of the Mac adoption we’ve seen since then.Engineers at Apple developing the next generation of mobile ARM-compatible chips apparently believe the price and performance will be there for full computers in the coming years. The mobile and desktop hardware lines could conceivably be brought together. This does seem to jive with Apple’s ongoing efforts to make OSX on computers look and act more like iOS on mobile devices.It’s not as simple as just flipping a switch and going with ARM chips, though. The x86 architecture used by Intel is deeply entrenched at this point. Consumer use of Macs is higher than it’s been in a long time, and it would be hard to pull the rug out from under them again. It’s possible that OSX would be redesigned to run on ARM chips, or it might just be deprecated. OSX could continue to exist as an x86 Intel platform, but new computer-like devices based on Apple’s ARM chips could take the lead. Maybe a MacBook Air Best Price at Amazon built on ARM that runs some future version of iOS?Intel has been working in recent years to make its processors more efficient in order to compete with ARM. It has made some strides with the Medfield Atom mobile platform, but adoption is still very limited. It’s going to come down to power. If Apple can’t make ARM chips that satisfy the needs of computer users, the change will never happen. If Apple does leave Intel in the next few years, it’s going to be a serious blow to Intel.via Bloomberglast_img read more