Apple ponders Macs sans Intel chips

Summary:Apple is pondering a move to non-Intel Macs. If Apple follows through it would give ARM a nice computing win.

Apple is reportedly pondering a move from Intel-based Macs to its own processors.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is exploring ways to replace Intel in the Mac. The aim is to use the technologies used in its iPhone and iPad products.

The report is based on unnamed sources, but the move isn't all that surprising. Apple designs its own processors.

But the big push here is that the Mac could become ARM based. ARM is an architecture that competes with Intel's x86 architecture. If the Mac were to go ARM, it would give the architecture a big boost in PCs. ARM chips from the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia are typically found in smartphones and tablets.

Should Apple go with its own chips the winners and losers would look something like this:

  • Intel would lose a high-profile account with Apple.
  • ARM would likely be a winner.
  • Apple could either win or lose. Should chip processor speed begin to matter---right now good enough seems to be the motto of the day---Apple would find itself on a processor development treadmill.

Keep in mind that Apple used to run on chips manufactured by Motorola and IBM, but then switched to Intel. Those transitions---should they be necessary---can hurt.

Topics: Processors, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, PCs


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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