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Why Apple Should Acquire AMD

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the what-else-do-you-do-with-mad-ipod-money dept.

340

slashdotLIKES writes "CoolTechZone.com columnist Gundeep Hora has a new column up that discusses why Apple should acquire AMD and how both companies would be a good fit for each other. From the article, "After private equity groups, let's look at a more strategic acquisition. For that, Apple is the best bet. Yes, I know it sounds way too radical to be taken seriously. However, Apple could drop Intel altogether and adopt AMD for its Macintosh PCs. Sure, the transition is going to take sometime, and it would probably make Apple announce a brand new line of PCs. However, it will be well worth it. We know Steve Jobs is ruthless when it comes to making interesting deals with powerful companies. This makes AMD a perfect match. Obviously Intel isn't going to be too delighted, but other companies don't bother Jobs. We all know he's the type of executive who crafts deals on his own terms. If Intel wants to be associated with Apple, then they won't really have much of a choice."

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I doubt it would happen (5, Informative)

Maeric (636941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955647)

Usually when companies craft a deal like Apple has done with Intel there is a contract that goes along with it. Term and Conditions associated with any kind of termination to that contract. On face value I doubt this would happen given that alone.

Re:I doubt it would happen (5, Insightful)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955797)

Even forgetting the contract, the proposal is ridiculous:

However, Apple could drop Intel altogether and adopt AMD for its Macintosh PCs.

They just switched to Intel chips less than two years ago! There are still a few apps here and there that are still dependent on Rosetta. And Apple is supposed to just pick up a new microchip like a teenager picks up a new favorite song every other week? Intel's not the only one that would be pissed (and rightly so!), but we customers, as well. I don't want to deal with another switch, and neither does anyone else. Plus, I don't think Apple wants to throw its years of work away after only two very successful years.

Sure, the transition is going to take sometime

No shit. In fact, they're not quite done with the transition to Intel just yet. Apple was lucky in that it had the foresight--or fortune--to maintain a secret Intel-native OS X build for years. I highly doubt they have another one for AMD. So, however long it's taken for the Intel switch, it's going to take much longer for AMD. That won't go over well with anyone involved.

I think our time is better spent arguing whether Apple should buy out Nintendo. Or vice versa. Whichever one incites the more amusing flamewar.

Re:I doubt it would happen (5, Insightful)

Maeric (636941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955861)

If they coded Rosetta properly it shouldn't really take much of a transition to go to AMD except the change in hardware. However, if they had PowerPC, intel, and AMD Apples on the market it would make it more like a PC. Something Apple doesn't want and something that other Apple users don't want. There was a lot of fuss over switching to Intel. I can just imagine it would be even worse if they switched again so soon.

Re:I doubt it would happen (3, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955901)

Apple was lucky in that it had the foresight--or fortune--to maintain a secret Intel-native OS X build for years.
It was forsight.
For nearly a decade Steve and the CEO of Intel have had lunch once a year. That shows how long the deal was "in the works".
-nB

Re:I doubt it would happen (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955911)

I would be very surprised if Apple did NOT keep a good look on whatever issues that would cause problems for current MacOS X x86 on AMD hardware. This is not like the Apple switch from IBM to Intel, it's like Motorola PowerPC to IBM PowerPC. From this perspective, the x64 port in Leopard is far more significant, and even that transition is stated to be quite smooth.

Re:I doubt it would happen (5, Insightful)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955977)

They just switched to Intel chips less than two years ago! There are still a few apps here and there that are still dependent on Rosetta. And Apple is supposed to just pick up a new microchip like a teenager picks up a new favorite song every other week? Intel's not the only one that would be pissed (and rightly so!), but we customers, as well. I don't want to deal with another switch, and neither does anyone else. Plus, I don't think Apple wants to throw its years of work away after only two very successful years.

The switch from PPC to intel was a far greater feat than going from Intel to AMD would be. In fact, I doubt there'd be a single software issue... apart from the lack of EFI (which I'm sure Apple could wrestle away from Intel at some outrageous price).

The problem is, AMD doesn't make anything Apple really wants. Apple needs good laptop processors, of which Intel make the best. Intel's doing better in the quad-core arena which is obviously where Apple wants to go.

This isn't just about buying AMD, it's also about switching processor suppliers--to processors which are currently not as good as Intel. They may be cheaper, but most macs require fast and cool processors due to their form-factor, or require the fastest available processors. AMD dominates in neither category.

I'm a huge AMD fan, my last PC (before I dumped it and my G5 to get a Mac Pro) was an AMD as were all my PCs before that. I fully admit, however, that currently Intel is winning the war.

Re:I doubt it would happen (3, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956397)

I'd have to agree with you. Within a generation or two of an Intel CPU model being released, AMD is typically completely instruction set compatable with the Intel CPUs. Ex, the original Athlons didn't have SSE at all if I remember correctly, the later 32bit athlons had SSE and I think SSE2.

So, instruction set wise, they'd be golden. Add to that the addition of the 3DNow instruction sets, and the fact that they could assume they were present on newer Macs, the switch shouldn't be hard for Apple. As you said, EFI would cost money though.

That being said, as someone else put it, the performace of current generation AMD chips (and even the projected next gen performaces for AMD and Intel), does not provide a compelling case for a switch. Then again, the performance generation of Intel chips vs. PPC chips when Apple was official about the switch, did not make a compelling case either.

Re:I doubt it would happen (3, Interesting)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956527)

The switch from PPC to intel was a far greater feat than going from Intel to AMD would be. In fact, I doubt there'd be a single software issue... apart from the lack of EFI (which I'm sure Apple could wrestle away from Intel at some outrageous price).

Actually, EFI is nowUEFI [uefi.org] , and doesn't really belong to Intel anymore. In addition, AMD and Apple are members [uefi.org] of the United EFI Forum.

Another reason for Apple not to buy AMD would be production issues - I believe one of the reasons Apple went with Intel was because of Intel's manufacturing capacity. If Apple buys AMD, they either don't get enough chips, or AMD CPUs become exclusive to Apple's computers - Dell, HP, and all the home builders would be SOL, because there'd be insufficient supply. And if that were to happen, there'd be zero benefit to owning AMD for Apple.

Another problem with this scenario is that Apple essentially buys ATI as well - what then, only ATI GPUs in Macs, in addition to only AMD CPUs? Then there's all the other chips AMD makes. Does Apple just sell off these other divisions, or just shut them down completely?

Re:I doubt it would happen (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956113)

You understand that unlike m68k->PPC and PPC->x86, AMD and Intel make essentially binary compatible chips, right ? So AMD chips would be basically a largely user-invisible replacement, right?

Bloody Macintrash weenies.

Re:I doubt it would happen (4, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956279)

They just switched to Intel chips less than two years ago!

And before that they switched to the G4/5, before that PowerPC, before that 6800.

This proposal is one of the dumbest ideas that I've heard. Apple is an integrator. Their software integrates the hardware, so they make that. The hardware is disposable. Buying AMD would severely limit Apple to innovate in the future.

No electronics integrating company that I know of ties themselves to such a specific piece of hardware. None.

This is absolutely silly.

Re:I doubt it would happen (2, Informative)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956429)

While I agree that the concept of an Apple AMD merger is kinda silly, I think you fail to properly understand the differences between Intel x86 and AMD x86 chips.

Re:I doubt it would happen (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956099)

(Note I couldn't RTFA since it seems to be slashdotted) The only thing I would worry about is a non-compete clause that says they won't source their chips from other x86 chipmakers. They could do a hybrid product line until they could get acceptable power and heat numbers from AMD. This could though put some interesting things in Apple's product line. AMD has the Alchemy Au1200 processor which could become the core of an iPOD or a PDA. I think Alchemy is MIPS though, but anything's possible. Apple could control the entire contents of their motherboards. AMD makes the CPUS, ATI makes the GPUs and chipset.

Re:I doubt it would happen (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956491)

I think Dell may be taking AMD up instead. Dell needs to be unique... not just shipping department for "WinTel". With their new try at Ubuntu, AMD would be a good choice for OSS solutions.. AMD don't seem to have a problem with OSS, they relied on it to sell opterons. Perhaps a big vendor like Dell would finally get some decent ATI drivers out there because it would make really cheap powerful notebooks. I'd think AMD would intend to fix that, but they need cash for work like anybody else.

gods not another one (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955661)

Great, yet another economic should acquire story. Why to people employ these worthless losers?

Answer without a question (5, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955663)

However, it will be well worth it.

Why?

AMD and Intel exist to keep each other at bay. Consumers are the winner at the end of the day because of this relationship. Meddling with that can't be good, my gut says.

Re:Answer without a question (-1, Flamebait)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955751)

especially when you consider how Apple likes lock-in

Re:Answer without a question (0, Offtopic)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956285)

The trolls are out I see. No explanation I suppose for that comment?

Re:Answer without a question (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956443)

Why do you need explanation for the obvious?

ps. Binary is 1's and 0's.

Re:Answer without a question (1)

mp3phish (747341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956449)

You are the troll.

Where is your explanation to your comment? Apple has a well defined history of lock-in and they continue to follow that tradition today more than ever. Until they break that tradition, they will always give people who don't like it a bad aftertaste.

While Apple's lock-in strategies must be (and are) inversely proportional to their market share for practical reasons, they haven't gained enough market share to break their bad habits yet.

Re:Answer without a question (2, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955819)

Not only that, but Apple doesn't consume enough chips to make it's business very interesting for AMD. IBM barely seemed to care when they lost Apple's business, and certainly they didn't care enough to bother making the low-power laptop CPUs that Apple desperately needed. Further, AMD barely survives at all through their intense focus on chasing Intel. Apple would trash that focus, and likely cause AMD to go under. Steve Jobs may be a severe a-hole, but I doubt he's dumb enough to fall for a buyout of AMD. Maybe Larry Ellison would like to buy them :-)

Re:Answer without a question (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956183)

Not only that, but Apple doesn't consume enough chips to make it's business very interesting for AMD.

Actually, with their respective market shares a full on switch by Apple would result in something like an instant 20% jump in required production for AMD and they simply don't have enough chips to manage it without dropping the ball somewhere. AMD could scale up, of course, but not right away. That is plenty to interest AMD, but not necessarily practical.

IBM barely seemed to care when they lost Apple's business, and certainly they didn't care enough to bother making the low-power laptop CPUs that Apple desperately needed.

IBM was making its money selling high end server processors and in the embedded space. They figured out they could make more cash filling all the gaming consoles than filling all the Apple machines and they went for it. AMD, however, is focused pretty strongly on desktop and server markets.

Further, AMD barely survives at all through their intense focus on chasing Intel.

They are in trouble. That is for sure. I think they would take a hard look at Apple and would sure love to have them as a customer, although who knows about as a merger.

Apple would trash that focus, and likely cause AMD to go under.

Actually, Apple has been Intel's poster boy for new technology over the last year. Apple wants pretty much exactly what AMD is trying to create, perhaps with more focus on portables.

Steve Jobs may be a severe a-hole, but I doubt he's dumb enough to fall for a buyout of AMD.

That's the main reason I see this as improbable. AMD doesn't have the supply of chips Apple needs and their technology is frankly losing the war, especially in the portable market where Apple is focusing. What's in this deal for Apple? Why buy an unprofitable company that creates products you're not using now because they are not the best on the market? Why not maintain neutrality and buy from whoever is winning at any given time?

Re:Answer without a question (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955859)

Agreed. This has to be one of the most boneheaded ideas ever. Apple JUST MANAGED to dig themselves out of two decades of proprietary/alternative CPU infrastructure, and now someone wants them to dive back in the hole? It buys them nothing. They already use the fastest, best desktop and laptop CPUs on the market-- they'd be spending a lot of money to make their products worse by buying and using AMD.

It would make a lot more sense for Apple to focus on software. Adobe Systems, for instance, has a total valuation that's only twice Apple's cash-on-hand, and that could make a pretty formidable corporation. If they really want some hardware/software combo, Sun Microsystems is only valued a little above Apple's cash-on-hand, and they'd get a CPU family as well as one of the most successful programming languages ever (and Lord knows Apple needs some way forward beyond Objective-C).

Re:Answer without a question (1)

twbecker (315312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956219)

Sun Microsystems is only valued a little above Apple's cash-on-hand, and they'd get a CPU family as well as one of the most successful programming languages ever (and Lord knows Apple needs some way forward beyond Objective-C).

Except Sun doesn't control Java (especially now that it's GPL). Not to mention that Apple/Steve have made it clear that they have no love for the language, most notably by deprecating the Java-Cococa bridge but also by Steve's own comments.

Re:Answer without a question (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955871)

Well put. Fortunately Steve Jobs doesn't take cues from crazy bloggers...

Re:Answer without a question (3, Insightful)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955949)

AMD and Intel exist to keep each other at bay.

And here I thought that they exist to make their shareholders money. Silly me.

Re:Answer without a question (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956049)

That's one of their duties, not a reason for existence. Not to be petty or anything, but very few companies *exist* to make shareholders money, that would require that they were first and foremost started to be publicly traded companies, which most aren't. Most companies start with some other purpose (often to make money for an owner or two as well) and then go public for more resources to work with. I know it really upsets some tried-and-true capitalists, but not everyone in the world is in business just to make a buck. Some people actually have other goals too.

Re:Answer without a question (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956283)

And here I thought that they exist to make their shareholders money. Silly me.

Which, in the eyes of this articles author, is the answer to the question "Why?" The "positives" cited in articles like this are all about *business* reasons (ie., make rich people richer) why one company should merge with/buyout/eliminate as a competitor some other company.

You know... (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956325)

Thinking about it a little more also, this particular article doesn't much real business sense behind Apple acquiring AMD. In many places it sounds like the author thinks Jobs is cool and can do anything and that it would simply piss off Intel. That makes it even more worthless than the type of articles I was talking about in my original post.

Re:Answer without a question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956169)

Would be kinda neat, then you would have Microsoft with Intel and Nvidia on one side, and Apple with AMD and ATI on the other. You would no longer have to mix and match the brands as you like, you would only have to pick a side.
And then there's linux somewhere on a second axis.

Re:Answer without a question (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956235)

I agree very much with this point. Making this portion of the chain vertical isn't useful... after all microprocessors are still a field with a lot of competitive advancement.

Apple would hate to be stuck with a latent AMD should Intel remain strong on the chip front. It would be a parallel situation to Apple being at the mercy of Motorola's very slow G4 product development. (I still think the ROKR phone was Apple's way of taking revenge on Motorola for giving them rubbish for the last few years...hehehe)

Another good reason (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955677)

Another good reason could be to have a mixed design between the OS and the CPU as largely proved by SUN with its Sparc family.
Nowadays OS designers/writers have to fight against hardware architectures (and related manufacturers).

here's why (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955685)

because both companies produce more fanboys than actual products.

Re:here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955779)

Right on, brother!

Oh wait, I've had AMD as my processor in my main desktop for almost ten years, and I'm on my fourth MP3 player, three of which have been iPods. In fact, the third iPod video was bought for less money than I sold the previous iPod video.

But I must just be a fanboi.

Re:here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955931)

One of the key traits of fanboys is that they are overly sensitive and protective of their loved product. Thanks for the demonstration.

Re:here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956381)

Thanks for the biting analysis.

The reason I've used AMD chips in the past couldn't possibly be because the price/performance ratio that was in my budget had generally tilted slightly toward AMD. And the reason I bought an iPod as my second (and third and fourth) MP3 player couldn't possibly be because the upgrade path at CompUSA was extremely affordable due to their hardware replacement plan.

My decision to buy AMD products has been about rational consideration - if intel chips had beat out AMD chips in the budget I had set myself, I'd have gone that direction instead. In fact, I write this on an intel-based laptop.

Re:here's why (1, Troll)

alisson (1040324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956437)

And one of the key traits of jealousy is baseless attacks.

Come on, you can do it! Just say it with me: "Apple makes clearly superior products."

Wasn't that easy?

Re:here's why (3, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956101)

because both companies produce more fanboys than actual products.

How many fanboys are there with no PC? How many fanboys have more than one PC?

I fail to see the same ratio of fanboys/products that you see.. ;-)

Re:here's why (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956103)

Exactly.

Why? Because my (and the author's) secret desire is to own a Mac with an AMD chip so I can feel 'leet.

Please Steve Jobs, make my fantasy come true!

If AMD is such a good fit for Apple, why aren't they making Macs with AMD chips already?

Re:here's why (1)

Kurrurrin (790594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956401)

Eh, if you were a true 'leet fanboi, you would have hacked the x86 OSX to run on your athlon.

(What's sad is I have a friend who did just that)

Re:here's why (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956463)

Is that really shocking?

If either company has "1000 fans" that right there means they'd have to put out 1000 different products just to keep up.

I'm sure both have a lot more than 1000 fans and lot less than 1000 products.

Units on the other hand is a different story, I'd say there's little chance they have more fans than units shipped, if they did, that would be some phenomena that any company would want to emulate.

Re:here's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956499)

Actually, i'm not an AMD fanboy; just an INTEL hater.

Stupidity (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955691)

The second paragraph gives clear reasons why Apple should not acquire AMD. His reason for Apple to acquire AMD? Complete control over their hardware. Hardly worth it.

Re:Stupidity (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955865)

His reason for Apple to acquire AMD? Complete control over their hardware. Hardly worth it.


Agreed. And that's exactly why it won't happen -- because even Apple has demonstrated that they don't care about complete control over their hardware. Apple has proven that with its modular and flexible OS X architecture that they can be move to any hardware architecture they want, any time. The CPU doesn't matter that much them, so they'll take the best deal they can with whomever they want. Right now for them, that's Intel.

why bother? (4, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955699)

Steve Jobs is ruthless when it comes to making interesting deals with powerful companies.

At this point, I'd call AMD interesting, but I don't know about powerful.

Apple has made some interesting deals in the past, but the whole point of the Intel switch was because Intel is the clear market leader for processors, and there's nothing out there that makes me think this is going to stop any time soon. Apple doesn't need to have something else to differentiate themselves from the standard PC market like this.

This Would Be Disasterous (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955729)

Apple moving to a proprietary chip? Doesn't that sound painfully familiar?

They'd find a way to lose what little penetration AMD has into the PC market and nVidia would become known as the Apple graphics chip. Why not just let them acquire Transmeta licensing and they can start from scratch?

Re:This Would Be Disasterous (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956231)

Not nVidia. AMD owns ATI.

Totally Different Market (5, Insightful)

Tesla Tank (755530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955739)

If you look at Apple's current product (Mac, iPod, soon iPhone), the market they're selling to (brand conscious consumers), and the high margin on their products, they're totally different than where AMD is competing. AMD is selling processors to price conscious consumer, with an ultra low margin. This is especially the case now that Intel is doing some very aggressive price cutting. I just don't see why Apple would enter such a market.

Also, if you look at Apple's key to success in recent years, it's their ability to design products that are "sexy". I don't see how they could leverage that while designing processors.

Good job. (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955773)

Yes, I know it sounds way too radical to be taken seriously.
Well, at least you recognize that your blog post is nothing more than a sensationalist slashvertisement.

that would be a milestone (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955777)

Stupidest technology deal of all time.

And the core competence of the combined company would be...? This would make the AOL-Time Warner deal look sensible in comparison.

This is a crazy and silly idea (5, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955785)

AMD is doing terribly at the moment. They're seriously lagging behind Intel both in fabrication technique and chip power. Furthermore, they only reason their chips are competitive -at all- is their recent and massive price cuts.

AMD chips run hotter, slower, and require more power. Their current designs are reaching their limits, and no feasible new ones are on the horizon. Intel, meanwhile, already in the lead with the Core 2 Duo, is going to jump still further forward with Penryn.

Why would Apple move to hotter, less efficient chips? Why would Apple partner with a massively unprofitable company? Why would Apple change what they're doing at all at this point?

I love AMD, and I've been loyal to them since the first K7s came off the line, but Intel has far more potential in the near future with better R&D, better chips, and surprisingly low prices.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956007)

"I love AMD, and I've been loyal to them since the first K7s came off the line,...."

WHy? by your own admission there are hotter, more power hungry and not as fast.

There's being a fan, and then there is being a sucker.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956171)

Yeah, but AMD needs all the fans it can muster, given their high heat output...

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (1)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956097)

Why would Apple move to hotter, less efficient chips?
Because although the early Macbooks gave Sony a run for their money, the Playstation 3 recently retook the lead in the George Foreman market.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (4, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956177)

Ya gotta remember, it wasn't too long ago that the situation was reversed. AMD could jump ahead of Intel again.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (2, Insightful)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956471)

The situation was never reversed. The original poster said the performance and the fab. While AMD had the performance crown (And yes, I bought some AMD chips at that point too), Intel has always held the fabrication crown... and that will always make it hard for AMD to take and hold a lead for more than a few months.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956359)

Let's get this out right now. AMD's CPUs don't suck. Since the Intel went with the core there is really only one really bad CPU on the market and that is the Pentium D.
AMD does have a new line of chips coming I am really hopeful that they will be a big step up for AMD so we can keep this war going for a while.

Why would Apple buy AMD?
They have a lot of cash laying around.
They like the idea of an integrated CPU/GPU in the mini/notebook space.
They like the new quad core cpus in the Pro/Server space.

Why Apple shouldn't buy AMD?
They have a good relationship with Intel.
AMD has not produced a great notebook cpu/chip set yet.
They have no real need to. Apple is making money hand over fist.
A big question on if AMD would still sell enough CPUs and GPUs to compete with Intel if they where owned by Apple.

Plus you have the potential of diluting the Apple brand name. What would an Apple be? If you have an Apple CPU do you now have an Apple?

BTW Just as a thought. With the technology that AMD is using to build the new quad core CPU couldn't they also build a duel core cpu + duel GPU chip that using hyper-transport to link the GPUs to the CPUs and each other?
You might have a low end solution that that could run Flight Simulator X under Vista!

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956387)

Their current designs are reaching their limits, and no feasible new ones are on the horizon.
So the "K10" coming out this summer doesn't count? We keep hearing every week how it's got a 40-50% performance lead over Intel's chips. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised - Intel may have more research potential but AMD has consistently proved to me that they are actually able to deliver.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (1)

Zuato (1024033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956407)

Ironically Intel was in the same boat with the P4 vs. the A64s until the Core 2 Duo came out...hotter, slower, and required more power. They pulled through, so I would expect that AMD will step it up to make sure they stay relevant as they have done in the past. It appears that Intel and AMD will be back and forth for a while which is much better than AMD always being behind (which was the way it was until the A64 vs. P4.

Re:This is a crazy and silly idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956425)

"Why would Apple move to hotter, less efficient chips?"

*cough* G5 *cough*

Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955787)

Apples and Oranges: Apple needs to be comparable to the rest of the PCs out there, so that means Intel. This is a much easier prospect when they use the same processor. Remember the megahertz myth?

Off the Rack: Apple is a small player, and needs to be able to buy standard components, off the rack. Going its own way incurs huge R&D costs. Even IBM couldn't keep pace with Intel, and arguably RISC was a better technology. No, Apple should use the same components as other makers whenever possible.

Competition: Adding AMD as a processor option on future Macs (once the exclusive contract expires) is a much smarter strategy. If Intel makes the best chips, use Intel. If AMD, then use AMD. Let the customer decide, and let competition drive innovation.

Then Apple would have to use slower AMD chips! (4, Insightful)

elwinc (663074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955793)

If Apple owned AMD, the Apple would be stuck with slower hotter AMD chips! Right now, Apple sells better features and style to price-insensitive buyers. Right now, AMD sells cheaper slower hotter chips to price-conscious buyers. Now Steve Jobs is a great salesman, but do you really think he wants to even try to convince Apple fans that they should avoid computers with those 45nm 3.33GHz quadcore CPUs that everyone else will soon be shipping? I have my doubts...

Re:Then Apple would have to use slower AMD chips! (5, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955971)

I have my doubts...
--
--- Often in error; never in doubt!
Hm.... methinks you are lying either in your statement or your sig...

Perfect sense except... (1)

Askjeffro (787652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955803)

Apple at its core is a marketing machine, just like Intel. Intel and Apple feed off of each others marketing dollars and consumer perception. AMD, the self-declared non-marketer, makes little sense for Apple in light of their strategic marketing efforts.

Besides, Intel has bent over backwards for the Apple business, AMD doesn't have the resources right now to be Steve's toy.

dumbest idea ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955815)

AMD neither fits with the apple's strategy nor strengths and would be a big gamble with little payoff.

who is this MBA fodder Gundeep Hora so i can make a note to never hire him.

 

Re:dumbest idea ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956057)

Come to that, not only is "CoolTechZone" a stupid name for anything, they're clearly out of their depth on this one. Given the name, perhaps they should start reviewing video cards. They might do a better job at that.

One word answer: no. (4, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955827)

Longer answer: AFAIK, Intel DuoCore chips beat the crap out of AMD in the performance section, and, more importantly to Apple, in the performance-to-power-consumption section. Apple makes a lot of money from schweet laptops [apple.com] , and they are not about to ditch the best laptop CPU money can buy for a contender. Also, Apple iPhone is going to use ARM CPUs (Apple, if I remember correctly, was one of the founders of ARM [ot1.com] ), and Io and Behold, Intel also has an offering in that area [intel.com] .

In any case, the future of (personal) computing is in the laptop/mobile segment. Apple knows this, and this is why they certainly won't buy AMD.

Re:One word answer: no. (0, Offtopic)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956291)

Apple makes a lot of money from schweet laptops, and they are not about to ditch the best laptop CPU money can buy for a contender. Also, Apple iPhone is going to use ARM CPUs [...], and Io and Behold, Intel also has an offering in that area.

I see, I see. So your point is Intel should buy Apple? It makes sense, you totally defended that viewpoint, interesting indeed.

And I always thought Microsoft should buy Adobe. I mean, they keep trying replicate Photoshop and Flash, Adobe tried to replicate Flash before, and when they failed, they just bought Macromedia, and see them now.

Also, what's with those Windows Media monopoly suites, right - Microsoft should buy EU. It makes sense it should buy EU since they're already paying 2 million/day in penalties to EU, why rent EU when you can just buy it. In the longer term it comes cheaper, as anyone knows.

But I think also Adobe should buy Autodesk, you know, integrate Maya and 3DSMax with CS3? Movie studios will be all over that.

McDonalds should totally buy Roche or Pfizer, I mean with all the health troubles burgers cause, wouldn't it be great if they pre-injected them with medicines to help you lose fat?

NASA should buy CNN, NASA keeps complaining media coverage of their missions is very poor since people got used to them: well there you go, a perfect solution.

In the end, who's the richest guy though - Bill Gates. He should buy Earth and get over with it, since apparently it's where we're heading and why delay the inevitable.

This makes sense, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955829)

How does this make any sense for Apple? What do they gain in return for a company that is always playing catch up, has large debt, has a questionable acquisition that they are still trying to digest and can suffer losses for long lengths of time. All this just to have a tiny bit more control over the hardware? I just don't see it. Apple has been going to through great pains to make the hardware as much of a commodity as possible while still retaining the proper design aesthetics and high levels of usability. They just ditched one chip partner, they don't need to gain another one.

Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

TyroneShoe (912878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955849)

Terrible, awful idea. Despite popular beliefs, Apple is not a hardware manufacturer. Apple works with Chinese sub-contractors to design and manufacture all their laptops, ipods, etc. They have no organizational competency with cpu/gpu design or any chip manufacturing for that matter. Apple and AMD merging would be like gluing a cheeseburger to an airplane. In the end, the sum is no greater than its parts... it's still just a cheeseburger and an airplane.

Utterly horrible match (4, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955851)

The deal would be a disaster for Apple, because it would lose the ability to pick the IA32 CPU vendor that at a particular moment delivers the best performance in the metrics relevant for Apple. Intel and AMD has a history of leapfrogging each other, and it is always in the interest of a company to have multiple vendors competing for delivering the best product. This is much better than relying on an in-house department which may or may not perform on par with the rest of the industry.

For AMD it would be a disaster, because AMD would suddenly be in a position where it competed directly with its own customers. It would in one stroke be one of the largest producers of PC's, which would be unlikely to sit well with the rest of the industry.

[ The later reason also explain why a an Apple / Disney merger has become less likely, as Apple has become a big time content distributer. ]

Re:Utterly horrible match (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956385)

The deal would be a disaster for Apple

Thing is, we all know that, except the article author (and maybe even he knows that but that's why he wrote it). Don't feed the troll submissions.

Translation of TFA (5, Funny)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955867)

"I own a crapload of tanking AMD stock, and need it to go up so I can sell it and, hopefully, make some money back."

Other great opportunities (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955885)

GM could buy Exxon. Boeing buys GE engines, Southwest Airlines and the FAA. AT&T buys Nokia. Harvard buys MIT. HP buys Compaq after Compaq buys DEC -- oops, how's that working out?

The in-depth financial analysis of the deal and its impact on AMD's current customers is especially interesting.

Re:Other great opportunities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18955983)

Nice since HP took Dells market away from them.

Why is this a good idea? (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955891)

Not that the CPU is of low importance in computers, but it is still just a component. Now that Apple switched to x86 architecture, it is definitely able to get the fastest CPU:s available to power their own Macs. Why would they need to buy one from such a risky business and how could this possibly help Apple? Lower priced CPU costs? Yes. Loads of expenses to get there? Yes.

How is this on the Front Page? (3, Insightful)

c1one (830882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955903)

This is a ridiculous read and I am appalled that it is on the front page... there must 100s of more worthy submissions.

Re:How is this on the Front Page? (1)

flamdrag (578265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956537)

Come here often?

Apple needs to be nimble not its own chip supplier (5, Insightful)

d3xt3r (527989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955919)

Why on earth would Apple want to acquire a chip and graphics card manufacturer? Didn't Apple specifically go with Intel over AMD due to Intel's stronger road map? I don't doubt that it could have been about price too, but that leads me to my second point.

Despite Apple's position as a hardware company, a hardware manufacturer they are not. Apple designs their products, sure, but production is outsourced to others. Apple stands to benefit from not being in the chip manufacturing business. As long as Intel and AMD exist to compete against each other, Apple can play off their competition to get the best pricing. The same could be said of leading video card manufacturers NVidia, ATi/AMD, and Intel.

One would presume that should Apple acquire AMD, their Mac products would become entirely AMD/ATi based. So how does Apple benefit? Becoming their own chip supplier would certainly increase R&D, manufacturing and supply chain costs without yielding a single advantage. Apple needs to remain nimble and flexible. Right now they could drop Intel for AMD in a blink should AMD surpass Intel in price/performance and then jump right back if and when Intel takes the lead back. Should Apple acquire AMD and have AMD chips fall well behind Intel's, Apple would be sitting on a big loss with less than optimal chips in Macs to boot.

Honestly, the author of TFA doesn't know what he's talking about.

Re:Apple needs to be nimble not its own chip suppl (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956181)

"Honestly, the author of TFA doesn't know what he's talking about."

They call that "a Blog."

Oh yeah? (1)

barl0w2 (1096357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955921)

I hate it when people think Apple should be everything to everybody. Buying AMD would be the worst thing they could do - to concentrate on something outside of their specialty, wasting valuable time and money on resurrecting AMD's profit margin. As soon as they buy them and report another negative earnings, Apples stock would fall like a brick.

Sun and Apple? (1)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955939)

Wasn't this said about Sun and Apple in the 90's? I remember people saying that if they merged Solaris could be used for the server os while Mac OS would be used for the desktop and both would use Sparc. That didn't happen and I doubt this would either.

Trusted computing? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955941)

Better yet, we already know that Steve Jobs says that DRM sucks. Apple buying AMD could spell the end of "Trusted" Computing, if he were to stick to his guns.

People just don't get it (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955945)

Apple sells little boxes that people enjoy.

If in 2 years IBM comes up with a chip that fits Apples needs, Apple would switch. As long as thre users experience doesn't change, Apple doesn't give a crap.

Plus AMD isn't better the Intel in any pratical way. From Appples point of view, they are worse.

Riiight. (3, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955951)

Is this before or after they buy out Nintando?

Seriously, why do people always think Apple should be buying out other companies "just because?"

Because... (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956459)

A lot of people click on any link with "Apple" in it. Even idle speculation draws page hits! Just think of it as one of the warts of capitalism, and "keep moving forward".

Not gonna happen (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955961)

Just like your rich aunt is going to continue to rent Mercedes benzes, even though she can't afford to since her husband died. she's used to expensive flashy things and isn't going to change even if she needs to. Not that apple needs to change, but there's no reason to buy the toyota when renting the mercedes is still profitable. Plus apple would be assuming billions in debt and having to war directly against intel.

I think the Welsh should purchase Apple. (1)

streetphantom (1075615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18955995)

Wales is getting lots of investment for tech factories. It would be an ideal place to manufacture them....

Remember history? (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956019)

One of the main reasons Apple went with Intel instead of AMD was because Intel had much better mobile processors. Under Motorola and IBM, Apple's laptops lagged behind in development because of the lack of mobile processor development. When Apple decided to go with Intel, Intel was behind AMD a bit in the desktop market but by the time Apple converted their entire product line, Intel released their Core series and overtook AMD. To this day, AMD still lags behind Intel in mobile processors. Until that is resolved, Apple probably won't use AMD chips much less buy AMD.

Re:Remember history? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956335)

Apple also uses mobile processors in 2/3 of their desktop lines(the mac pro uses xeons), so yeah, I would say that if 4 out of your 5 models of computer uses the mobile processor, you should probably stick with the best manufacturer of mobile cpus

*I guess it should be 4/6 since the XServe also uses Xeons, but the XServe seems kind of an afterthought for Apple right now.

Too soon (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956051)

Of course Apple must have plans to use AMD as a second supplier eventually, but to smooth the switchover from PPC they will have needed to ensure that Intel gave them early access and preferential supplies. That means they almost certainly have an exclusive deal with Intel lasting several years. So don't expect them to buy AMD yet.

DVORAK? Izzat You? (2, Funny)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956055)


Come on! Only DVORAK could come up with something so lame, so off-the-wall as this!

=)

"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong." - Wolfgang Pauli

sh17 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956085)

is the group that NetBSD useR same worthlees Market. Therefore, was at the same lube or we sell

Fails to address (1)

l4m3z0r (799504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956121)

This fails to address the core issue of why Apple went with Intel rather than AMD in the first place, and thats volume. Apple is concerned AMD would not be able to produce the necessary chips for Apple in timely fashion. Buying them would mean they have to supplement what can be produced at AMD with chips purchased from Intel. It doesn't take a genius to realize that an exclusive contract with Intel is more lucrative and realistic than using AMD or purchasing them.

Faulty logic at work here.... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956199)

Apple is a sales company. They make stuff that ostensibly 'works'. Any computer maker that tries their own chip fab dies-- and IBM is the only exception to this. What happened to the Alpha? How is Sun and Solaris doing these days? Wanna buy a MIPS?

AMD is a hardware company. The fraction of sales that goes to end-consumers is near nill. They're caught in a battle with a cranky CEO that is out-of-breath trying to keep up with Intel, rather than simply out-smart Intel (it isn't tough; changing Intel is like turning the Queen Mary).

Apple doesn't really compete with WinTel if you think about it. They've gone there own way since before I bought an Apple ][. Buying a chip fab would be perhaps among the strangest shark-jumping things they could possibly do, except perhaps buying Johnson and Johnson.

This leap of logic, IMHO, shows a startlingly bad judgment in both business practices, economics, logic, and industrial acumen. Send this guy to bizniss skewl after he gets out of rehab.

3DFX ring a bell? (3, Insightful)

Mr Pippin (659094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956237)

I don't think Apple taking over AMD is a win-win idea.

I recall 3DFX's road to failure started with their acquisition of STB, letting them control all aspects of their graphics cards.

Terrible idea. Remember SGI and MIPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956241)

Making iPods, computers, etc. is an entirely different chore from making chips.

Remember when SGI bought MIPS? Remember how much of a drag on both companies the relationship was?
Then the market changed, and SGI had to pretty much abandon MIPS to jump to Intel. MIPS would be
far better off on its own had it not been for that misguided acquisition, and the switch to Intel
would have been an easier pill to swallow for SGI.

Imagine how the Apple transition to Intel would have gone had Apple owned the PowerPC. As it was,
switching to Intel didn't involve shutting down chip fabs, so the decision was about the technology,
not about restructuring an unrelated business.

Apple should keep doing what its doing. It doesn't need to own the underlying technology, and indeed
doing so would be a mistake of company-killing proportion. Such arrangements are artificial, and impose
artificial limitations on the flexibility of the business.

"Expand or die" is what kills companies... (5, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956277)

It used to be that you could keep a company going simply by consistenly producing good products for a good price and a reasonable profit. As long as the products and the price both remained good, people would buy the products and the profits would keep coming in. Obviously the products would have to be refined over time as the needs of the customer base changed, but this fundamental approach is sound.

For some reason, that's not good enough for Wall Street anymore. And so, the notion that companies must grow and expand to be "successful" has been pounded into everyone's head until nobody bothers to question it anymore. And the end result is idiotic articles like this one.

Apple produces a good product for a good price and a reasonable profit. They have been doing this for the last 25 years, ever since their inception. They have stumbled from time to time, yes, but they have survived all this time because when they were in trouble they dropped back to this simple, but time-tested, approach.

Despite this, there have been constant predictions of Apple's demise. After all, how could a company be "successful" if it didn't continuously expand, right?

One needn't expand in order to succeed. One need only provide something that others need or want at a price they can afford and at a price that brings in enough profit to get the job done. Hewlett-Packard appeared to have understood this, back when Bill Hewlett and David Packard were running things. Apple appears to understand this now, under the tutelage of Steve Jobs.

The "expand or die" mantra comes as a result of most stocks today being valued based on how much their share price will rise in the future, because for some reason paying dividends (which any steady-state business would do if it were sane, and which I believe most companies used to do) has become passe. That's not good for the company (and thus its employees and customers) in the long run because expansion is unsustainable and almost always leads to a loss of focus.

And then they could aquire this other company (2, Insightful)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956301)

Solvang Advanced Ploymers (http://www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com/ [solvayadva...lymers.com] )becasue they use a lot of plastics, and stuff. I bet there are a lot of other companies Apple could buy that happen to produce things they consume. Apple uses hard drives. Why don't they buy Hitachi? Just becasue Apple has decided to use something doesn't mean they need to buy the company.

"The transition is going to take sometime..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18956395)

It's "some time." Learn to spell, darn it.

AIM? (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18956409)

Author has no clue about history.. Apple, IBM , and Motorola formed AIM sometime ago to produce PowewPC chips for Macs and that did not fair well in the long term and thus Apple will not try to 'buy' a chip manufacturer again..
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