Apple/Intel: The morning after

Summary:The morning after of the Apple/IBM tryst is full of pundits explaining why they got it wrong when they dismissed the notion of such a union. Michael Kanellos offers his entertaining mea culpa ("They say animals can sense things early, but I completely ignored the fact that two weeks ago my cat started drinking coffee and fiddling with the band saw.

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The morning after of the Apple/IBM tryst is full of pundits explaining why they got it wrong when they dismissed the notion of such a union. Michael Kanellos offers his entertaining mea culpa ("They say animals can sense things early, but I completely ignored the fact that two weeks ago my cat started drinking coffee and fiddling with the band saw."),  and points to the potential of cloners mucking up Apple's business, as he did in a story following the rumored Apple/Intel deal last month. Potentially, cloners, with the aid of some hacking, could buy copies of the Mac OS in a store and assemble their own Mac PCs using the cheap, off-the-shelf hardware. While it's possible, Steve Jobs will use every ounce of his legal and will power to stamp out those offending machines...and none of them will be able to offer the true Mac experience. Apple will likely have some unique supporting chips and higher end hardware requirements that will make cheap clones less than Holy Mac, which may be fine for some users.

Regarding yesterday's announcement, Kanellos says:

The red carpet was unfurled Monday, but a year from now, Apple will be lumped into the same courtesy shuttle as Toshiba, Sony, Gateway and the other "not in the top five" PC makers. Acer sells more computers than Apple and therefore will likely qualify for higher volume discounts.
Apple will also lose one more aspect of its uniqueness, which the company seems to crave, so who knows what will happen next? Feeling a bit dejected, Apple may start casting about again. Look, there's Hector Ruiz of AMD, the company might say to itself. He talks quite a bit about the importance of the emerging market. They're sort of an underdog...

I highly doubt that just because Apple will account for fewer Intel chip sales than Acer, that the company will pay more per processor. Jobs didn't enter into a deal with Intel--which can chalk up the design win as a marketing coup and with the potential for getting Apple's consumers electronics business--without a pricing guarantee over the next few years that ensures that future Macs will be price competitive. Otherwise, as Kanellos points out, AMD starts to look good to Apple, but Intel wouldn't like that....

Topics: Apple

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