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Report: Apple to ditch IBM, move to Intel-based Macs

updated 10:30 pm EDT, Fri June 3, 2005

Intel CPUs inside Macs

Apple next week will announce a around Intel processors. UPDATE: A new Wall Street Journal article confirms the transition plan outlined in CNET's report. "An industry executive familiar with the matter, contacted Saturday, verified that schedule."

Over the past several years, IBM has been criticized for its inability to deliver high-volumes of faster processors. However, recent partnerships with game console manufacturers such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo were thought to have given the IBM the resources and funding necessary to deliver faster, more powerful processors in a more timely fashion. IBM has continuing concerns with Apple's desire for a wide variety of PowerPC processors and about the profitability of a low-volume business, according to the CNET report.

Initial reports were rejected by some analysts, despite the ease of portability of Mac OS X to the x86 chip architecture. Some saw the reports of Apple-Intel discussions as Apple's attempt to pressure IBM into delivering more volume of its high-speed processors, which it has had trouble doing for several years. Meanwhile, other reports suggested that talks maybe related to Apple's use of WiMAX, a next-generation home wireless technology.

In recent months, Apple has seen support from Intel, who has filed briefs to support Apple subpoenas for confidential information from Mac websites. Additionally, Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently bolstered Apple's switch campaign by suggesting that users move to the Mac for increased security. Apple and Intel are also among five companies companies fighting a US wireless patent.

by MacNN Staff





  1. garyj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I would rather have them work with AMD...

  1. Eccent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and our source for this..

    I might believe this but couldn't someone be a little more specific than "sources familiar with the situation"

  1. chris409

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What if?

    What if this is true? We'll see Monday. I wonder if OS X is really ready to run on an Intel processor. This is a mix of anxiety and excitment for me. This will be a long weekend, for sure.

  1. spiggott

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah, right

    Not going to happen. I'll beleive it when I see it. Or rather, hear it at the WWDC keynote. Apple is going to end their partnership with IBM in hopes that Intel can get them to the magical 3 GHz with a CISC chip, no less? I don't think so. Will Apple use Intel for WiMAX chips? Maybe. Not going to happen for CPUs.

  1. mattfromnz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think not

    It just makes no sense. Why switch from a competitve CPU family with a bright future (huge R&D budgets from IBM, Sony and MS) to the slowest of the x86 CPU families which gets spanked by both AMD and the PowerPC CPUs.

    WiMAX I can believe. PCI-E chipsets I can believe. CPUs for a new device (tablet. iPod, etc) I can believe. But x86 CPUs in Macs? I'll believe that when I see it. If they do this, then when my Dual 2.5 is due for an upgrade, I won't be buying Apple.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When will people realize

    The Wall Street Journal is NOT a tech journal, they should leave that to the people that know what they are talking about. This report has been made forever. If they do switch to Intel it will only be the Intel will be making their chips to Apple's Specs and no one can expect to run OS X on any current Intel Hardware because the Chips they will make for Apple will be different than the ones they make for other makers.

    What really stinks is that when Steve does NOT announce they are going to Intel to make chips Apple's Stock will tank based on rumors from unfounded sources.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That would be something. Yep, Monday. Of course Apple could just be dropping a rumor to bring attention to the WWDC keynote. Talk about mixing things up.

  1. JustinHoMi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows compatibility

    If this is true, it would allow Apple to overcome one of their greatest obstacles: Windows compatibility. You would no longer need x86 "emulation" to run Windows applications... a simple Windows compatibility layer (think wine) would run Windows apps at full speed.

    The downside of this is that it might discourage developers from making OS X native applications. Why do it when they can run nearly as well in a capability layer?

  1. I.P. Freely

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe it's IBM telling Apple that it's over.... Since they have all their console chip sale sewn up they don't really need to sell to Apple. And they are letting Apple go to Intel so it won't hurt Apple.

    How would it look if IBM just dropped Apple, it would hurt Apple's credibility. So maybe it's a mutual decision.

  1. Elektrix

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe I'm missing something, but where did the article specifically say Apple would be using x86 processors? It just says they will be using Intel chips. Presumably Intel is capable of making a wide variety of chips (who knows, perhaps they could even make PowerPC chips).

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