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What is the Intel Switch Costing Apple?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the best-atm-interface-ever dept.

Businesses 531

SenseOfHumor writes "A Business Week article says that it costs Apple $898 for an Intel iMac before loading it with software and packaging. From the article: 'But for Apple, the switch to Intel chips is less about saving money in the short term, and more about hitching its wagon to Intel's longer-term product road maps, particularly in the area of notebooks. IBM's chips are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat, and therefore not suitable to notebook computers.'"

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Apple Are Korea (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510116)

KEKEKEKEKEKEKE !!!!!!

Re:Apple Are Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510139)

Did you mean Apples are for old Koreans only?

hitch your wagon - to a SINKING ROCK! (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510249)

Hardware: Intel Loses Market Share to AMD [slashdot.org]


Apple Computer : Proudly going out of business for 30 years

Re:hitch your wagon - to a SINKING ROCK! (1, Funny)

ac3boy (638979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510459)

"Apple Computer : Proudly going out of business for 30 years" Man, that is one of the best lines i have read in a long time. Good one! Cheers, John.

Oh, the sheer irony! (0, Troll)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510133)

Apple is going with Intel because their competitors' chips "are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat".

It's like rain on your wedding day!

Pentium-M (4, Insightful)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510203)

The pentium-m processors are incredibly power efficient and perform very well. Sure there desktops are absolutely horrible from the Northwood to the Prescott core (and perhaps some new cores since i've stopped paying attention to what intel releases on the desktop now) but that doesn't exclude the fact that they do infact have one of the best, if not THE best solution for notebooks.

Re:Pentium-M (0, Flamebait)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510443)

Yes, the Pentium-M is an excellent piece of machinery.

It's just too bad that the best Intel appears to be able todo is with what is, essentially, the rather old Pentium-3 design with a few added tweaks.

Then again, as someone who holds stock in AMD but not INTC, I'm not exactly crying right now.

Whatever Alanis (-1, Offtopic)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510208)

Rain on your wedding day is not ironic [m-w.com] . It is just bad luck.

Re:Whatever Alanis (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510292)

It is if you live in the desert, where everybody gets excited about rainy days. Except on their weddings, which are one time when they really want a nice sunny day.

Normally wanting somethin + getting it at a useless time = irony

Re:Whatever Alanis (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510402)

no.. Irony is when you try to make something happen one way, and your actions end up creating the opposite effect.

Re:Whatever Alanis (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510337)

I know. That's the point. It was a joke. (Is it ironic that you didn't get the humor?)

Re:Whatever Alanis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510346)

haha. that's bugged me about that song since it came out. the only irony is there is no real irony in the song.

Re:Whatever Alanis (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510501)

perhaps that is the point of the song? The song itself is ironic because she was singing about non-ironic things but calling them ironic, so she decided to name the song "ironic"

Re:Whatever Alanis (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510377)

What if you seed the clouds in order to get the rain out, but you do not use enough to make it rain right away and rather than having a rainless wedding day, you cause it too rain on your wedding day? THAT is irony... it just doe not fit well into a song.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510394)

> It's like rain on your wedding day!

For the final time Ms Morrisette, rain on your wedding day IS NOT iroic.
Rain on your wedding day when marrying a TV weather girl who predicted happy sunshine, might be.

A no smoking sign on your ciggerete break isn't irony (just anonying).
A no smoking sign on your ciggerate break having *just* been diagnosed with lung cancer, might be.

Irony and (decent) comedy are two things North America cannot do :-)

Here's some irony for you to chew on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510564)

rofl! Alanis Morisette is from Canada, not North America. I should know! I'm Canadian! If you look on a map, you will see that we are just north of North America.

If they don't know.... (5, Funny)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510135)

If they don't know, why ask us? Everyone knows slashdot crowd knows nothing. But we'll always comment. So I'll say it's costing them at least a hundred pigs a month in tribute. Maybe some biscuits (you Yanks call them cookies).

Depends on the pigs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510387)

Ones like this [userfriendly.org] ?

Re:If they don't know.... (5, Funny)

Zerbs (898056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510439)

Yes, but how many Bacon Jr. Cheeseburgers is that?

Re:If they don't know.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510496)

Everyone knows slashdot crowd knows nothing.

Everyone except the slashdot crowd, of course.

When did this change? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510142)

In the mid 1990s, Apple showed the famous picture of a Pentium grilling a hot dog and claimed Intel's chips were power hungry and ran hot compared to the nice cool sleek PowerPC. That was one of the supporting reasons that Apple ostensibly switched, according to all the engineering presentations at WWDC. So when did this change?

The main reason of course was that RISC processors were on a much faster performance incline than the fuddy duddy old CISC processors like the x86 line. The graph comparing the two in the period 1995-2005 showed CISC acceleration continuing to slow and RISC acceleration continuing with, I believe, a skyrocket attached to the top of the graph. We all know how that turned out.

Re:When did this change? (2, Insightful)

55555 Manbabies! (861806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510235)

So when did this change?

Somewhere in the last decade where each architecture was developed into something different than it was.

Re:When did this change? (1, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510267)

In the mid 1990s, Apple showed the famous picture of a Pentium grilling a hot dog and claimed Intel's chips were power hungry and ran hot compared to the nice cool sleek PowerPC. That was one of the supporting reasons that Apple ostensibly switched, according to all the engineering presentations at WWDC. So when did this change?

Just within the last 12 months has Intel started releasing chips that focus on lower heat and power. The Pentium M chips were a step towards lower power, but the Intel Core Duo that ships in the imac is the first chip that is really ahead of AMD for mobile systems.

Re:When did this change? (5, Informative)

adisakp (705706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510319)

The main reason of course was that RISC processors were on a much faster performance incline than the fuddy duddy old CISC processors like the x86 line. The graph comparing the two in the period 1995-2005 showed CISC acceleration continuing to slow and RISC acceleration continuing with, I believe, a skyrocket attached to the top of the graph. We all know how that turned out.

No one at the time expected the changes in CISC processors. CISC processors still do have a "complex" instruction set in that they allow multiple forms of adddressing and varying length opcodes. However, internally these chips have become much more RISC-like. The current generation of Pentiums actually does an internal version of dynamic translation from CISC to RISC-micro-ops (which may be 1 or more per CISC instruction) and executes the micro-ops using a different instruction set internally. This internal RISC instruction set is used so central to the design that the L1 I-Cache is not actually a verbatim data cache of the CISC instructions but actually a trace cache of the translated RISC-like micro-ops.

the real costs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510151)

ibm relationship, $1,000,000,000
porting operating system $30,000,000

finding yourself on the platform you have been bagging out for the last three decades? Priceless!!

-Sj53

Don't We Know this already? (5, Interesting)

patman600 (669121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510152)

Wasn't this the publicly stated reason for switching when Steve announced the move last summer? They said IBM makes great server chips, but the future of personal computing is laptops, something Intel is putting more R&D into than IBM, and thus provides a better solution.

why is this news?

Re:Don't We Know this already? (5, Informative)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510198)

The news is about the cost per iMac, but this being /., everyone is focusing on the reason for switching, since it has already been rehashed a thousand times and they're comfortable flaming about it.

Really, what this article is saying is that Apple is only making $450 per low-end iMac sold, based on their own estimates, which are most likely wrong.

Why is THAT news? You got me.

Re:Don't We Know this already? (1)

andy9701 (112808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510326)

Actually, the article said that they are making $450 on each low-end iMac before putting software on it. I'm not sure how much iLife, iWork, etc. cost, but I'm sure it cuts into a portion of that $450.

Re:Don't We Know this already? (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510484)

$79 retail for iLife, which I'm sure is not this does not cover its development cost, but more of an upgrade cost since the only time you will need to purchase this is when you upgrade since it comes default on new Macs. The OS again is $149 I think, which again, is selling it below what its worth to people that want to upgrade. And iWorks is a 30 day demo on new Macs, and is probably really worth the $79 its sold for since it lacks a few features, but has more artistic stile to it. All in all, I would say they make probably only a $100 or so on every Mac, which would be more than what Dell makes on every computer they sell.

Re:Don't We Know this already? (2)

Teiresias_UK (413251) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510358)

I'm wondering, why Intel?

In most of the current performance comparisions, AMD chips came out as being streets ahead of IBM in terms of access latency, memory bandwidth and many other benchmarks.

If memory serves I've read a number of analyst reports stating that they reckon it'll be a while before IBM can get performance like AMD, so why not hook up with them instead?

Re:Don't We Know this already? (1)

bluekanoodle (672900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510522)

In some peoples mind, AMD still equates with Chips for those on a budget. I'm sure part of the reason was the brand name recognition Intel has in the market among the general population. (Not the /. crowd) Yes, the AMD vs Intel debate matters to us, but not to Joe sixpack.

For a company that has always prided itself on selling "Premium" computers, I do think part of the reason was they did not want to associate their brand with anything that connotate "Budget." That's just my 2 cents.

Re:Don't We Know this already? (4, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510540)

I'm wondering, why Intel?

Where have you been?

#1) It's been discussed about a million times that Apple has had issues chip suppliers before producing enough of the desired chips for them. Intel has the fab capacity to handle any requests Apple makes. AMD doesn't. If Apple went to AMD, they would instantly become AMD's biggest customer. That puts a huge strain on production. AMD is pushing their production capacity as is. If I recall, there were recent shortages of the 3800+ dual core chips. That's without AMD taking on a bigger customer than they've ever had.

#2) Laptops. Laptop sales are growing, and have been higher than desktop sales for the past two years or so. While Intels desktop chips are hot and slow, the Pentium M is a nice fast low-power chip, and slightly better than any of AMD's current laptop chips.

In a few years when AMD has more fab capacity and maybe a better laptop chip than Intel, I'm sure we'll see Apple thinking about moving over to AMD, or at least offering those as optional chips. Or at least threatening to like Dell to make sure they get a sweet deal on chip prices from Intel.

Re:Don't We Know this already? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510409)

I think the expectation was that the switch to Intel would also make Macs substantially cheaper, based on the assumption that the Intel chips would be cheaper than the IBM chips. This has not turned out to be the case, probably because IBM was selling the G5s to Apple for very little profit or maybe even a loss. The rumor mill says that once the game console volume came online, IBM told Apple that they'd actually expect a profit, and that if they wanted a laptop version of the G5, Apple would have to pay the true premium necessary for developing a custom laptop processor.

And as it turns out, IBM Microelectronics just had a fantastic financial quarter, having switched volume from money-sucking G5s to money-minting XBoxes.

What about the possibility of avoiding lock-in? (5, Insightful)

Yhippa (443967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510160)

It should be easier to switch to AMD or other X86 platforms in the future, opening up more negotiation possibilities.

Re:What about the possibility of avoiding lock-in? (1, Troll)

vishbar (862440) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510571)

We're talking about Apple: one of the most proprietary computing companies ever.

I don't thing they're going to worry about avoiding vendor lock-in.

what about overhead? (3, Insightful)

rahrens (939941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510168)

The article didn't mention overhead. You can bet that there is a cost associated with the overall organization, plus the physical plant, R&D, etc. that most likely brings the costs way up from where the article puts them!

Re:what about overhead? (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510352)

Actually if you consider Apple's overall "profit margin" for the last quarter, they grossed 5.65 billion and netted 565 million, so if you go just by last quarter, their overall profit margin is 10%, IIRC still much greater than Dells, but nowhere near what the article makes it out to be.

Re:what about overhead? (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510407)

that most likely brings the costs way up from where the article puts them!

Actually, why do people keep believing articles like this where "expert analysts" predict the manufacturing costs of some given electronic product? There is almost never documentable evidence that they are right, and frequently they can be shown to be horribly wrong in hindsight.

The fact of the matter is that when a successful company brings a product to market, it's usually because they figured out how to make it cheaper than was generally possible before, thus enabling them to turn a profit. Apple has a tremendous history of this, and almost every time an analyst predicts that an Apple product costs a small fortune to manufacture, Apple turns around and posts industry high profit margins that blow away the analyst predictions.

Analysts pull this same crap with video game consoles, and all sorts of other next-generation electronic equipment made up of multiple components. Any manufacturer that ships any signifigant volume of product doesn't pay anywhere near the bulk prices that component manufacturers publish. Do you think Dell is paying Intel anywhere near their published thousand-unit prices? Then why should this analyst think apple is?

plus the physical plant

Apple doesn't own the plant.

R&D

Research and Development aren't manufacturing costs.

smart move (1)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510169)

notebooks seem to be the way to go since everyone want to be able to work at home. i think i read soewhere that notebooks are overtaking desktops in sales. where i work %75 of the people have notebooks. (out of 50)

Re:smart move (2, Interesting)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510524)

i think i read soewhere that notebooks are overtaking desktops in sales. where i work %75 of the people have notebooks. (out of 50)


What really makes that possible is USB IMHO. Up until a few years ago it was basically impossible to hook external disk drives up to a laptop if you wanted to expand your storage unless you bought SCSI disks and a SCSI PCMCIA card. Now you can just go home, hook into your USB hub with a single cable and you've got access to your printer, scanner, external hard drives, DVD-RW drives, mouse, keyboard, webcam, etc. The only place it really makes sense anymore to use a desktop is if you're a gamer or an avid upgrader and like to swap out your motherboard/CPU/memory/video cards every once in awhile. It's just so much more convenient to grab a laptop and go sit on the couch and work instead of being tied to my office's desk.

Re:smart move (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510563)

I don't want to work at home, I want to game at home. Go desktops!

How long before... (1, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510172)

...Intel gets dumped in favor of AMD [slashdot.org] ?

probably never. (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510300)

I don't think its going to happen.

I think the Mac is on Intel simply because there was little else to do to generate new sales momentum. By going to Intel it is implied that people with the older technology will buy new Apples, thereby increasing sales and making Apple's bottom line look better. This will work in the short term but long term where is the excitement going to come from?

What do Apple computers do that Microsoft computers don't that will appeal to the general computing populace? Computing is probably too strong a term, most aren't doing more than email and surfing. Games are probably the next strongest category for most PC users. So who are they getting sales from? Simple, the Apple faithful. When those run out where do they go for more?

Corporations aren't going to switch. Most are tied by vendor now. In our case we have windows because Dell supplies on Windows PCs. We had HP before and that was because HP supplied Windows only PCs. We don't even look at Apple. Windows is entrenched here and got that way because there was no viable alternative.

Why would the general populace ever want to buy a Mac? You can talk it up all you want but the bottom line is price. If all the GP is doing is surfing/email/IM they are defintely going to be harder to sway. Photography? Nah, most people never use more than the basic features of most products.

With the migration to Intel the "Mac Tax" is more evident. This puts pressure on the geek market. Many of us would like to have a machine to run OS/X. That word "machine" is key. I'm not buying an Apple unless I can use another OS on it. My first preference is that it boot Windows as that is what I need at work and for home use. Next is Linux. So why would these new machines appeal to me? Outside of the mini the new ones will be too expensive for something just to play with.

I'll be very curious what the sales look like 1 year after the switch is complete. It is obvious most sales will be to the faithful. I just don't think they can convince the general computer populace to switch because of the obvious cost difference. Look, they couldn't convince them the premium was worth it before, how are they going to do it now when "smart consumers" can not compare Apples to Apples?

Re:probably never. (4, Insightful)

bearinboots (743355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510405)

Why would the general populace ever want to buy a Mac?

Almost every person that I've induced to switch or helped to switch were prompted to do so to escape the Windows virus nightmare.

Ditto. n/t (1)

Dlugar (124619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510544)

Ditto. n/t

Re:probably never. (1)

mosch (204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510525)

This is probably the dumbest thing I've ever read on slashdot.

And I'm including the GNAA crap floods.

Re:probably never. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510542)

Regretting buying that new Mac already, eh?

Re:How long before... (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510450)

Never, I should expect. But then, never is a long time in technology.

At the moment, Intel has the platform focus, marketing clout, bulk-discounting and supply chain that matches Apple's own needs and desires, and AMD can't replicate right now.

This may well change, but I can't imagine it happening soon. Apple has been very clear that these new Macs are with Intel Processors, not "x86 processors".

Uhmmmm (0, Troll)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510174)

IBM's chips are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat, and therefore not suitable to notebook computers.

So, we jumped to Intel, which hasn't be plagued by this issues of late...

I can't believe that someone actually decided that.

Re:Uhmmmm (4, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510222)

This wasn't a knee-jerk reaction, Appple was unable to build a fast laptop, and IBM couldn't offer them anything competitive with what was happening on the x86 side of things. I've got the latest Powerbook G4, which is the best, fastest laptop Apple could offer until now, and it's just too far behind the curve. Would you rather they remained there, while IBM worked on other things and didn't care?

Re:Uhmmmm (4, Insightful)

Twid (67847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510277)

The Core Duo is a great laptop chip, have you seen the benchmarks and reviews lately? IBM had no real roadmap for a laptop version of the G5. Shortly after the switch was announced, IBM made some vague statement saying that they had a low power G5 design, and they could have made it if Apple wanted it. I seriously doubt that their chip would have come near the performance of the Core Duo, or that it would be ready today.

The CPU benchmark numbers tell the tale. The Core Duo is 4-5x faster than the 1.67GHz G4 in the PowerBook, but only 2x faster than the single-core 1.8GHz G5 in the old iMac. So you can assume that the Core Duo is at least twice as fast core-for-core as the G4, but about the same core-for-core as the G5.

The G5 was a decent chip, IBM just didn't have a mobile chip to sell Apple and was too distracted by Xbox 2 and PS3 to care.

PPC vs i86 vs x86 vs MIPS vs ARM vs (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510367)

What processors does IBM (err, yeah, Lenovo now...) build laptops around?

I never understood why they didn't have a PowerPC Thinkpad if PPC was so great.


Well, at least now, Apple has what should be an architecture-agnostic OS, so this isn't neccessarily a long-term committment. Right?

Re:Uhmmmm (0)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510487)

Troll? It was a joke. Jeez.

The finite choices come from infinite options (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510185)

It is odd to me that Apple leverages so much into specific processors rather than specific processes. It would seem to me that Apple really has a great interface -- and that is the product they want to sell. With their OS kernel being based on some *nix variety (BSD? I can't remember) I would guess that the processor itself is unimportant if their software and APIs are hardware transparent.

Here's the great thing about the market and letting it lead you (instead of the other way around) when you are an OS or software provider -- you can focus on writing good clean code, and follow up that code with the hardware that offers your code the absolute best package given the infinite choices.

Power management, heat creation, MIPS, FLOPS, BOPS, GHZ, THZ, MB, MBps, whatever the hardware does best, there's always a ratio to price. That's the great thing about the free market, though, competititors will always want to beat the other.

What is stopping Apple or another software company from offering the best darn interface for programmers and users to work with, and then find the processor to wrap the interface around? Is this Apple goal with Intel, possibly? Shake up IBM (and show smaller processor companies that they, too, have a chance) and create an operating system that must now work with 2 (or 10?) completely different processor subsystems? Is this Apple showing that they can get away from hardware entirely, and focus just on software?

It's the marketing angle perhaps? (3, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510291)

"What is stopping Apple or another software company from offering the best darn interface for programmers and users to work with, and then find the processor to wrap the interface around?"

I think the problem is that Apple is a software company that makes its living as a hardware company. And to make money from hardware, they have to be perceived as different from their competition. If you follow what you're saying to it's logical end, you come up with a solution that says "Apple should not sell hardware, they should write software that runs anywhere".

I'm sure Jobs experience with NeXT tells him that selling an operating system, his experience watching Gasse sell BeOS tells him he doesn't want to compete with Microsoft on that basis. So he's chosen a middle ground that appears to be increasingly difficult to maintain differentiation on the hardware side.

The next few years will be interesting for Apple, that's for sure.

Re:It's the marketing angle perhaps? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510510)

Indeed. To cover a few replies to my initial comment, my thought is for Apple to basically develop the new version of their software (whatever it may be) and then pitch to have hardware people design their hardware for the software. Apple then finalizes the key hardware abstraction layer, and maximizes the price:performance for the package they'll sell.

They're not really going to sell the software only -- they'll still sell the package, but each new package could be a totally different configuration.

I guess it is more complicated than my initial thought was. I still want to see a company that makes a truly hardware abstract OS, though. Maybe we don't need an operating system as it standards today but a software layer that integrates with the hardware manufacturers developed hardware abstraction interface layers. Hmmm.

Re:The finite choices come from infinite options (4, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510297)


What is stopping Apple or another software company from offering the best darn interface for programmers and users to work with, and then find the processor to wrap the interface around?


Apple is not a software company. They are a hardware company. It's that simple. They build really solid, nifty hardware that apparently reaches fetish level for a certain market, and they've learned to turn that market into money.

The problem with being completely platform agnostic is that they would compeltely have to change their product line and manufacturing processes far too often, plus all of the porting from platform to platform would be a nightmare of its own.

Re:The finite choices come from infinite options (1)

bearinboots (743355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510431)

Apple is not a software company. They are a hardware company.

Quite true. But for a not-software company they sure do produce one hell of a good OS.

You'd be right if the interface was everything (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510328)

but a large portion of what Apple sells is the "total experience" for want of a better word. The first Apple product I bought was an Airport Express. You can't believe the design that went into the packaging--it was a thing of beauty. The experience of opening up the well-designed box and finding all the bits and pieces nealy laid out was something that really made a big impression on me.

While I agree that Apple's OS has a lovely interface (and I just bought my first Mac, a powerbook, this week) I don't think that the company can afford to focus exclusively on software. Industrial design (the sleek hardware) is an important part of the Apple experience and that snazzy hardware sells. Indeed, with iPods now the company's profit center, the focus will continue to be on hardware.

Which is too bad, because there's always the chance that people would be willing to pay for OSX on beige boxes.

Re:The finite choices come from infinite options (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510349)

No Apple is at heart a hardware company. It tried in the past to sell its operating system and let others build and sell the hardware and it quickly realized thats a money loser (or atleast not as much money as it takes to keep a company as large as apple afloat). Microsoft gets away with it because they make most of their money on highend server software. Apple is nowhere close to being able to compete in that market. Theoretically Apple could survive on the money that MS makes just in licensing its OS to the big PC builders. But they would have to sell 20 times the number of systems they a year as they do now for that to be a feasible market. They are a long long ways away and simply to big of a company needing to much constant cashflow to risk entering into a market where they would lose money for years with only a small chance of catching up to MS in terms of market share.

Re:The finite choices come from infinite options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510411)

It tried in the past to sell its operating system and let others build and sell the hardware and it quickly realized thats a money loser

The reason why it didn't work is because Apple were the ones investing all the R&D money in the mobo design process. The clones were then able to make cheaper versions of those boards and slap faster processors in them. This probably could have worked had a slightly different licensing arrangement been made. As it stood though, Apple was getting devoured by the cloners.

What about server-side? (2, Interesting)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510201)

OK, we know that Apple uses desktops and laptops to justify the switch to Intel, but what does this bode for the future of the Xserve line?

If Apple's going to be commodity CPU on the server front, then there's no incentive on the hardware front to pay for Apple.

Re:What about server-side? (3, Insightful)

avalys (221114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510239)

If Apple's going to be commodity CPU on the server front, then there's no incentive on the hardware front to pay for Apple.

Uh, why do you say that? You're saying that the only important hardware consideration for a server is what brand of CPU it uses. All Intel servers are otherwise equally desirable, and all AMD servers are otherwise equally desirable.

That's obviously not the case.

And really, no one in the past five years bought an Apple because of the PowerPC processor. They bought one despite it, because the hardware was great otherwise, and because the OS was great.

Re:What about server-side? (1)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510310)

Well I bought an iBook because it was powerful enough to do what I wanted it to do and because the PowerPC processor hardly needed the fan. Because it ran cooler than any of the x86s processors at the time (middle of last year) I could have a neat little A4 sized laptop which was slim and cool and quiet. I compare it with my work Dell laptop which weighs at least twice as much, is at least twice the volume and actually doesn't seem to be any quicker compiling the same (cross platform) code I develop. The styling and rather nice operating system are a bonus.

Re:What about server-side? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510268)

Intel-based Xserves will still include a license for OS X Server. If you don't consider than an incentive, then you're not the target market anyway.

Re:What about server-side? (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510470)

Build quality , support quality and OS/Software quality

Cool (2, Interesting)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510204)

Wasn't so long ago that people were touting the RISC design of PowerPC as a big power saver. Fewer instructions, less heat. The first iMac was the one of the quietest computers I had ever owned; I recall the Apple IIe being similar. I guess that changed, but I do not know when.

The Cell processor is an IBM creation. Several are going into the Playstation 3, so will this require a fan? Seems IBM is still building cooler chips and Intel is not the only one that cares about it.

Don't really have the details. Just wondering what happened. The context of TFA was that IBM just could not "do it" for Apple in the cool laptop department, so they jumped ship.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510350)

Yes, the Apple ][E was quiet, but so was my Commodore 64. I dont think we should be comparing these to current desktops/laptops.

Heck, my TI Calculator has a lot more computing power than my microwave, and the microwave makes a lot more noise- but that just doesn't make for a real comparison.

Re:Cool (1)

mstroeck (411799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510416)

I have no idea what you just said.

Brainiac design (4, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510483)

The G5 is a "brainiac" design, a big complex chip with a long highly parallelized pipeline. This is a relatively new approach for RISC chips, which have typically concentrated on a small core, short pipeline, and simple design with a lot of "close" cache.

Intel's Pentium chips have all been "brainiac"s to some extent, but none so much as the P4... which they've backed away from. The new chips in the new Macs are less like the G5 or P4 and, while not exactly as clean and tight as the G4, are closer to it than they are to the real brainiacs.

But there's nothing wrong with the G4 core as a core. Taking the G4 core and giving it a faster bus, the way Intel's taken the PII/PIII core and given it a faster bus in Yonah, would have made a lot more sense. And Freescale's got one like that in the pipeline. They could have called it the "G5 Mobile". :)

Re:Cool (1)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510539)

RISC can equal fewer transistors. It doesn't have to. It also tends to increase the "usage" each transistor gets, which leads to more heat/transistor.

Apple, AMD (2, Funny)

Piroca (900659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510209)


AMD fanboy's logic

Intel loses market share to AMD
Apple moves to Intel
Therefore, Apple loses market share to AMD

It cost them the love of Slashdotters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510212)

for not having gone with AMD.

I didn't think they would have survived the wrath of Slashdotters for not having ogg on the iPods, now Apple will be in the same league as M$, the RIAA, and SCO.

What do you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510217)

not suitable for notebook computers? That's not the talk we got from the Apple fanboys from the last 4 years.

Then what are the savings on battery life? (3, Insightful)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510230)

I'm a Mac user, and I've been keeping an ear to the ground, but I haven't heard any mention of the new MacBooks having improved battery life over the 'old' PowerBooks, so I am guessing the reverse is true (or much would be made of the better battery life). Of course, there are lots of other reasons for the move than just lower power consumption, and even on that front, there's no way of knowing right now if the new MacBooks will have lower unit-of-power/unit-of-computational-power costs. With the possibility that the new chips provide better-than-G5 performance in a laptop, well, there's certainly something going right with this switch, even if Intel doesn't have the best reputation for efficient, cool chips.

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (4, Informative)

podperson (592944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510307)

Your assumptions are somewhat flawed here. The Core Duo chips don't save power vs the G4, but versus the G5 which simply wouldn't work in a laptop at all.

The G4 had a great processing/watt ratio -- for its time. So did the G3. So did the 603. However, each new generation of laptop used MORE power to get FAR MORE processing done.

Good point (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510503)

I guess I responded a little hastily and unclearly to the line quoted in the summary: "IBM's chips are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat, and therefore not suitable to notebook computers."

The implication covers more than just the G5; though to be fair, later in the paragraph the author narrows the focus of this statement, something that I would have gotten if I'd RTFA before firing off that post.

Mea Culp Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510329)

They didn't mention battery life even ONCE during the keynote, and there's no mention of it anywhere on the web that I've been able to find.

My Macbook should be in the first shipment (my department is paying for it, not me), I'm eager to see how long it will last.

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510340)

arg...... dude... your lack of logical thought is amusing. Just because Apple moved away from PPC (the G4) does not mean that they did ti to improve battery life.... The G4 is long in the tooth (very long)... They needed a performance boost. Intel offered one that would fit in a notebook of the design apple wanted.

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510399)

Well, it's quite late where I am, so I apologize if I didn't express myself very well. I realize that the ability to boost performance by running the COOLER intel chips (heat being what prevented the use of the G5, and why the G4 was still in all the notebooks). However, I was responding to the charge of IBM's chips being "power-hungry," which it seems to me would correlate with battery life reasonably well.

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510376)

The New MacBook Pros are the (very) rough equivalent of a dual-core G5 Powerbook. The point is that Apple made a notebook vastly superior to the current powerbook (or will be, once everything is native) with similar battery life, while only marginally increasing battery size. This means that the new MacBook Pro is more energy efficient. I'm sure the MacBooks [iBook replacements] will have great battery life, because they'll be no where near the performance level of the MacBook Pros.

battery life rumors (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510533)

Have you heard what the battery life will be? All I've seen is rumors, none of them convincing me that the battery life will be comparable to older Powerbooks.

Re:Then what are the savings on battery life? (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510578)

There is also no mention of the new MacBook curing cancer and not eating puppies. There for the inverse must be true, it'll consume your pets and give you cancer!

Power grab (5, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510232)

"IBM's chips are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat..."

In a related news item, IBM chips are now running for elected office worldwide.

Obligatory Fanboi Glurge (0, Troll)

Slugster (635830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510238)

Lollerskates: Apple marries Intel, just as Intel product line takes back seat to AMD. Jobs spends huge sum of money to... -maintain second place, in a two-company vendor race.

,,,And, suffers new never-before-seen losses in the form of generic-install piracy.

..But the GOOD news is, the new Macth juth look faaaabulouth!
~

All Intel, All The Time? (5, Interesting)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510273)

This is why I'm confused about the push to "All Intel, All the Time!" Apple, with Mac OS X's Unix and NeXT roots, should embrace a multi-platform strategy to get the most bang for its buck wherever it can. The PowerPC-derived Cell will rock for workstation and servers, and the Meron will kick major butt for home user kit. Best tool for the job, and just compile for the famous NeXT "Fat Binary." Back in the day, the same NeXT executable would run on 68040, Sparc, PA-RISC and Pentiums. Why not now? Why tie yourself to x86 alone, when there are better alternatives to fit the niche you're targeting?

Too much politics, and not enough engineering.

~ SoupIsGood Food

Re:All Intel, All The Time? (1, Flamebait)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510434)

Presumably because Intel desperately want market share, and will do deals to get it, epecially in 4% chunks like Apple has - it honestly wouldn't surprise me if Apple was getting their CPUs at or below cost. Apple's decision to rule out AMD and future IBM chips clearly isn't an engineering one, so it must be a financial one.

Re:All Intel, All The Time? (1)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510582)

Well, they do have a similar solution for maintaining compatibility with the older systems, IIRC.

Apple considers their core competency to be making package deals. They make software and they make hardware, but they want them only to go together. They don't want to support someone else's platform for business reasons not engineering ones.

roadmap (-1, Redundant)

macguys (472025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510282)

It's all about the roadmap and having a growth path.

Dave
http://www.radiomacguys.com/ [radiomacguys.com]

Re:roadmap (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510488)

So what you are saying is that Apple bought Intel's marketing hype?

Comodity hardware + Free software = you win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510287)

"IBM's chips are power-hungry and generate a lot of heat, and therefore not suitable to notebook computers."

Nevertheless, Apple zealots were not only gladly buying them for years, but paying premium for them too!

When choosing between Microsoft (overpriced software) and Apple (overpriced hardware), I'd pick Linux (comodity hardware + Free software) any day.

'Switch'??? More Like 'Dumped' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510293)

Boy, that Jobs sure can spin just about any situation...

IBM dumped Apple and left them with nowhere else to go.

Everything else is just consequences.

Perhaps it's the other way around?? (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510295)

Given the fact that AMD has taken market share from Intel (as documented in the previous post) and their stock value nosedived (http://money.cnn.com/2006/01/17/technology/intel_ analysis/index.htm [cnn.com] for more), perhaps it's Intel that needs the help?

Economy of the 'Change' (5, Funny)

palad1 (571416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510342)

I don't know what it costs Apple, but I sure know the change to Intel will cost me about 2000 .

Joe Ragosta? You out there? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510355)

How does that shoe taste?

Laptops/small computers are the future (2, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510478)

Apple decided years ago that laptops were going to be the future, and the age of giant towers was coming to a close, and odds are that's true.

Small, lower power chips that put out decent numbers are worth more to most people that large, power hungry chips that put out phenominal numbers. It's funny, the story below talks about AMD chips outselling Intel chips in the desktop. At the end of the day though, I fear AMD is taking over a market segment as it's being abandoned, nothing more.

Apple Clones (1, Insightful)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510485)

I'm just waiting for the notebook manufacturers out there to start cloning the Apple machines, and stick a cooler processor in with a bigger battery. The specs for the Apple machines aren't unknown, and they are using mostly market pieces.

Yeah, I won't have an Apple that lights up, but I won't be paying the Apple toll for the same hardware either. And, chances are, I'll be able to use OS X.n anyway.

Its just economics (2, Interesting)

antielectron (764068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510529)

For people wondering why Apple introduced the high end MacBook Pro line first, and is still offering the G4 based line of Powerbooks and iBooks - the high initial cost of the Intel chips is precisely the reason. The chips aren't much cheaper (and neither as manufacturing costs) for notebooks offered at much lower price points.

Its a good business strategy - ultimately Apple needs to watch its bottom line while it goes after markets share. As economies of scale, Moore's law [wikipedia.org] , and the network effect (more applications get ported to native Intel architecture) kick in in to drive down the costs, we'll likely see the lower-end notebooks within the next 6 months, and the move to Intel processors despite their high initial costs will pay off for Apple very soon.

What is the Intel Switch Costing Apple? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14510541)

It seems to be costing them me as a client, since they dropped FW800, s-vhs, display resolution, probably battery life and anticipated dual-layer DVD-RW drive...

is this still part of the "think different"-stuff or did that train go already?

My question is, how much might this cost Intel (1)

warsql (878659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14510547)

Did anyone see the new Apple commercial advertising how intel processors used to be trapped inside dull computers, and how they have now been unleashed now by Apple?

I wonder how Redmond will respond to that.

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