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Analyst: iOS, OS X to start merging in 2012-2013

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Wed August 3, 2011

A6 processor seen as key

Apple will begin trying to merge iOS and OS X into a single platform in 2012, projects Jeffries analyst Peter Misek. The reasoning is that it would provide Apple with better profit margins, and simplify licensing content. "Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used," the analyst writes.

"We believe Apple is looking to merge iOS (iPhones/iPads) with OS X (Macs) into a single platform for apps and cloud services starting in 2012-13," he continues. The lynchpin is expected to be Apple's next mobile processor, presumably called the A6, which should initially ship with 2012 iPads and iPhones. Misek, however, sees the chip being built into MacBook Airs in the second half of 2012, or else at some point during 2013.

The difference is that the A6 is predicted to be a quad-core processor capable of "PC-like strength." MacBook Pros and Mac desktops are forecast to hold onto OS X and Intel processors for a while for the sake of compatibility, but are still expected to switch to iOS by 2016.

While Apple has merged elements of iOS into OS X Lion, the company faces a number of obstacles if it wants full integration. These include building support for both Intel and Apple processors into the codebase, as well as ensuring compatibility with software and peripherals people are familiar with. iOS has also been criticized for lacking the flexibility and customization of the Mac OS, particularly for professional work. Similarly, A-series chips may still be too slow relative to the CPU/GPU combinations on state-of-the-art Intel-based systems.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    2012? What?

    It's 2011 and they have already begun to merge...

    anal lists...

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    comment title

    Apple will just stop doing computers and sell ipads. That's your merge right there.

  1. shrtcrt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +10

    Stop the stupidity

    Yet another analyst talking out of their rear on what THEY think Apple should do. First of all iOS and MacOS serve two different purposes. Why would iOS, a touch based system, ever be put on a desktop OS that requires a keyboard and mouse? OS X will remain and be on desktops, laptops and servers. Features from both will be merged where it makes sense, but there will never be on OS. Just stop with the insanity already.

  1. jay3ld

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    NO!

    I can see why the analyst is thinking this, but it should not and would not happen. Mobile and desktop/laptop usage are clearly different. With a mobile device I am expecting something that is quick and has ease of use for whatever task I put it to. However for my desktop/laptop, I expect more out of it and a full interface that isn't simplified for mobile usage.

    If Apple ever does this like it appears Microsoft is doing for Win8, then you can count me out of upgrading my OSX systems.

  1. panjandrum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Let us hope

    Let us all hope that this doesn't happen. I think we can see, from Lion, that people at Apple are at least thinking about merging these into a single OS. However, I also think we can see from Lion, that Apple has no idea what they are doing. I almost invariably like Apple's UI choices. I manage and support a number of small educational networks and spend a minimum of 50% of my working life tutoring people on how to use computers (many of whom are elderly). I nearly always like the evolution of the operating systems and the UIs of those systems. But Lion is a disaster. I can't possibly recommend this inconsistent, difficult to see, and difficult to use OS to anyone. Mostly it's UI problems. There are so many bizarre, absurd decisions like the forced elimination of scroll arrows (turn them off for those who want them off? No problem at all. Eliminate them as an option? Madness! Versions? Sure, fine idea. Eliminate "Save As" as an option and make process for performing a similar function complex and confusing? Nuts! These things make no sense to anyone without a fan-boy bias.) I now feel like I have to fight with my computer every day to get it to do what I want to do. You know what it feels like? It feels like Windows did years ago; a daily frustrating struggle to get the computer to perform the function you wish. And just like Windows of yesteryear, I find myself disliking Lion more and more each day. As soon a possible I'm moving back to SL and moving Lion into a VM. (For now, I'm forcing myself to use it all the time so I get to know it well enough to support it and tutor all those poor users who are about to get it pre-installed on their new Macs.) (And before all the fan-boys chime in; I'm not talking about stability, speed, or personal preference. I'm talking about objectively quantifiable problems with the UI. Things like readability (greyness, small buttons), the elimination of useful features (Safari downloads window), and the needless elimination of features which, even if not active by default, should have remained available as options (scroll arrows, colorful and more readable interface icons, all-windows expose function etc.)

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    what??

    Some the of technical analysts out there just don't have a clue. The A6 will be as powerful as a desktop chip so Apple with use this in their computers? There were points in time the PowerPC was more powerful than Intels/AMDs but it didn't help the platform. Unless this chip is an order of magnitude faster, it's not compelling enough to make a CPU switch.

    As for merging, iOS started with OSX underpinnings so you could say to some degree they were merged from from the beginning. If you mean the interface, I don't expect Apple to make the same mistakes Microsoft did. They have tried to put a desktop OS on a phone/tablet and it never took off. Only the latest Windows phones show they are finally waking up. Beyond what's been done in Lion, I don't see how much more of the iOS interface would make sense on a desktop.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Stop the stupidity

    Yes, we need to stop stupid posters from reading a headline and writing stupid commentary!

    Yet another analyst talking out of their rear on what THEY think Apple should do.

    No, they're talking about what they think Apple is GOING to do.

    First of all iOS and MacOS serve two different purposes. Why would iOS, a touch based system, ever be put on a desktop OS that requires a keyboard and mouse? OS X will remain and be on desktops, laptops and servers. Features from both will be merged where it makes sense, but there will never be on OS. Just stop with the insanity already.

    This is where you need to learn to "read" and "comprehend". It was stated even in the MacNN blurb that "Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used,"

    So it isn't using a touch-screen app on a freakin' desktop. It's buying one app (say iWork), which you load onto all your devices. And it works as an iPad app on the iPad, and a Mac app on the Mac. You know, so you don't have to buy two programs like you do now, or have to deal with issues moving from one to the other.

    Apps, as you may well know, consist of several parts, mainly the UI and the underlying code. If Apple merges the OSes, the API becomes one. Thus, the underlying code works on either (with parts not working based on checks for hardware, like how iMovie won't allow you to capture video if you don't have a camera). Then you just need a different set of UI parts to deal with the different interfaces.

    For example (and try to follow, since I know comprehension is hard for you), take Carbon apps back in the early aughts. These were apps that you could buy once, and then use either in OS 9 or OS X. Under OS 9, it would work with the OS 9 look and feel. In OS X, it would work within the OS X UI. They could even work differently if you so programmed them to.

  1. shrtcrt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Re: Testudo

    First I am a developer myself. I understand wanting users to have their content on any device, but I doubt this has anything to do with people wanting to buy one universal app that runs on iOS and Mac OS X. I am sure a lot of users would like this, but from a developer perspective, this could impact revenue. You could have some bloated apps if it was that way. A developer can write a shared code base and implement the UI for each platform.

    I can fully comprehend what this analyst is saying. To me he is saying that iOS will be what we all run, and in no way will that happen. As I said, Apple will continue to bring innovations from each UI to the other OS, but I really doubt that they will have just one OS.

    Maybe you need to read, the article states that 2016 they expect Macs to run iOS. This means one OS, not the two we have today.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Yeah and cars too

    Did you hear that Toyota intends to merge all its vehicles into The Car. No more subcompacts, no more luxury cars, no more SUVs, no more small trucks and no more huge diesel trucks. Just The Car driven by one standard V-6 engine.

    That makes about as much sense as what this clueless analyst is claiming.

    I might add that Apple wouldn't save money by merging iOS with OS X. Both iOS and OS X are mature, stable, feature-rich systems. The headaches that would result from trying to reconcile so many differences would be enormous. In comparison, Toyota's The Car would be a piece of cake.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sounds perfectly plausible...

    and the fact that Lion is the 'King of Beasts' might imply that Lion is the end of the road for OS X. Steve Jobs said that OS X was going to be the Mac OS for the next 10 years. It's been 10 years.

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