updated 07:00 am EDT, Sat May 28, 2011
Intel closely aligned with Apple, no room for ARM
Intel has rejected the idea of an ARM-based MacBook anytime soon. The debate about whether an ARM-based MacBook could arrive sooner rather than later has again arisen, this time courtesy of a Japanese rumor site, which claims that Apple has been testing an A5-equipped MacBook Air. However, according to CNET, Intel believes that Apple will stick with Intel for at least the short to medium term.
Intel's marketing chief Tom Kilroy had this to say on the matter:
"We're very closely aligned with Apple. We've got our best design teams working with their best design teams. And we're quite comfortable we've got good collaboration going forward."
CNET also spoke to Anand Shimpi who runs Anandtech who concurred with Tom Kilroy's perspective. However, he believes that it is likely that Apple would be, at the very least, testing ARM-based notebooks:
"It's not surprising to me that Apple would be experimenting with an ARM-based notebook. However, it would have to be running iOS - the experience under OS X would be suboptimal by Apple's standards. Remember, this is what kept Apple from ever making a netbook based on [Intel's] Atom."
Electronista Senior Editor Jon Fingas also argues that it is unlikely to that Apple will switch from Intel designs even in the next two to three years. The most compelling reason against Apple switching to ARM-based chip designs for its notebooks is that it would risk forking its product roadmaps. It would leave Apple's desktop line running Intel chips, which would create too many coding problems for Apple and for its developers.