First Intel Macs to arrive in January?

First Intel Macs to arrive in January?

Summary: Last week I reported that the first Intel Macs may be coming sooner than originally expected. New PowerBooks and iBooks built on Intel hardware are rumored to arrive as soon as April or May—just in time for the back-to-school buying season. This week rumors are swirling that the first Intel Macs could arrive in as little as two months.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Intel
37

mac-mini-200.jpgLast week I reported that the first Intel Macs may be coming sooner than originally expected. New PowerBooks and iBooks built on Intel hardware are rumored to arrive as soon as April or May 2006—just in time for the back-to-school buying season. This week rumors are swirling that the first Intel Macs could arrive even sooner, possibly in as little as two months.

Forbes.com is reporting that the first ever Intel-based Macintosh could be announced at Macworld Expo which begins at San Francisco's Moscone Center on January 10, 2006. The bigger surprise is that the Intel Mac won't be a PowerBook or iBook, it'll be a Mac mini according to the story which quotes a UBS analyst.

"Our extensive checks in the supply chain are pointing to a very possible early introduction of Intel-based Macs before the June 2006 target date, with a possible Intel-based Mac Mini introduced at MacWorld," wrote UBS Analyst Ben Reitzes in a recent research report...

While any Intel Mac announcement would be great for the platform (and Apple tends to under-promise and over deliver, so it could happen) I'm still holding out hope that the Intel-based PowerBook will be announced first.

Topic: Intel

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

37 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Dubious sources ...

    This all seems very unlikely to me.
    Reverend MacFellow
    • Well Yes and no.....

      I think OSX for Intel has always been a reality in the hidden
      depths of Apple.

      I also think that annoucing a full year or more ahead of
      introduction the switch to Intel was VERY risky all things
      considering. People simply might have put off purchases so
      having a SURPRISE right around the corner would be very SWEET
      and oh by the way a common enough Apple stunt is it not?

      So either way I would not be shocked if in January we see the
      MacTel Mini and an announcement about the PowerBook line.
      Nor would I be stunned to see that we do have to wait.

      Pagan jim
      Laff
      • That could be the point

        Apple may very well want those who can wait to buy a MAC to wait till the Intel Mac comes out. That would put a boost to sales to the Intel Mac. In the end Apple get her money either way. But having heavier sales of the Intel Mac might entice developers to make more apps.
        voska
      • No other choice

        Apple had no other choice to announce OSX for Intel a full year in advance. 3rd party software makers for Mac needed to know about it in order to have their software ready. Trying to keep this secret while at the same time providing these companies (many of them small) with the news so that their apps would run on it when released would have been an exercise in futility.

        Additionally, by announcing it that far in advance prevents most users from waiting for it. If you needed a new Mac a few months back, you were unlikely to hold out that long.

        However, I wouldn't be surprised if announced this date knowing full well they would actually start shipping Intel Macs much sooner. Doing so would be very "Applesque".

        And the Mac mini is actually a practical entry point if you think about it. Work out the bugs on a sub $1000 system. Don't make someone pay $2000 plus for a PowerBook or PowerMac. The only other option is the iBook, and doing so on the iBook before the PowerBook would simply cannibalize PowerBook sales (product lines are too similar). On the otherhand, the difference between the PowerMac and the mini are significant enought that an Intel mini isn't going to convert too many PowerMac buyers to the mini.
        ArtVandelay
    • Hardly.

      Intel's Yonah is coming out in January, which is a dual core Pentium M. Allegedly, one of the biggest reasons Apple made the "switch" (ee... been waiting 20 years to say that) is because the G4 is a competitor to a Pentium III powered laptop.

      The PC world is leaps and bounds better than the Mac world in terms of performance, at the moment, and it's significantly better in terms of mobile performance. Apple aims to fix this.
      A_Pickle
      • I'm eager...

        ...to hear the first guy who posts about how this is dumb 'cause Apple didn't go AMD. Or ... how Linux is sooooo much better. Or how this will end "Micr0sux."

        -Pikl
        A_Pickle
        • I wouldn't say dumb

          But what's to stop Apple from allowing AMD in the future for processors? Not much from what I see. Today it's Intel and if Intel becomes a pain Apple has options as AMD I bet would be willing to supply processors. All this would be seemless to the end user. Seems smart to me.
          voska
          • Oh, certainly.

            I have nothing against AMD processors, or AMD processors in Apple Computers. An ardent Intel fan, I won't deny the absolute truth in that AMD currently has the better desktop, server, and workstation processor. I maintain that Intel currently has the superior mobile offering, but, times change as Apple has demonstrated.

            I was merely forecasting the sudden deluge of pro-AMD, anti-big-corporation obnoxiousness that seems rampant from many of the users here at ZDNet. That's merely my opining of the environment here.
            A_Pickle
  • THIS WILL END MICROSLOTH FOREVER!!!

    Just posting what someone wanted to hear earlier ;).
    itanalyst
    • It will take a bigger bite out of Linux

      Linux distros aren't exactly applauding Apple's move to Intel.
      archerjoe
      • Totally Disagree

        I have an HP laptop running XP at home. I bought it about 4 months ago. Three months after the powrbooks hit the streets... my hp goes up for sale on ebay (OK, might give it to one of my kids).

        I think this is going to hit Microsoft, another blow after the one the IPOD has delivered...
        not applicable_z
        • I don't think MacIntel will do significant damage to MS,

          not in the long run. MS has more to fear from Google than from Apple. And how do you figure the iPod hurt MS? MS is not a hardware vendor. I'm sure that more iPod owners load up their toys by way of Windows boxes than Macs.
          mustangj36@...
          • Eh? Say WHAT?

            [b]MS is not a hardware vendor.[/b]

            MS IS TOO a hardware vendor! MS sells keyboards, mice and game pads (read: INPUT DEVICES) - and let's NOT forget the XBox and XBox 360. They're still doing WebTV (aka MSN TV these days) even.

            It would be, however, correct to say:

            "Microsoft is not a(n) MP3 PLAYER hardware vendor."
            Wolfie2K3
        • I don't think MacIntel will do significant damage to MS,

          not in the long run. MS has more to fear from Google than from Apple. And how do you figure the iPod hurt MS? MS is not a hardware vendor. I'm sure that more iPod owners load up their toys by way of Windows boxes than Macs.
          mustangj36@...
          • iTunes hurts MS in the longrun

            Over 70 million (and growing) iPod users >>>> PC users must
            install iTunes for their iPods >>>>> iTunes also uses
            QuickTime engine >>>>> iTunes/QT is by far superior to MS
            MediaPlayer >>>> more PC users are starting to prefer using
            iTunes more than MediaPlayer for their iPods, internet radio &
            podcasting, digital music shopping, cd-ripping and burning, etc.

            Of course this is the music side to iTunes. However when it
            comes to video .... yes QT is better than MediaPlayer, but the
            market share of WMV is by far larger than QT.

            There is a plugin/codec for QT to play WMV and AVI files ... and
            when iTunes truly incorporates the full QT player within it, then
            it is possible that iTunes will take over MediaPlayer in every way.

            Remember, QT now has the following features: HD quality,
            plays interactive flash files inside it, flash video, interactive
            video, slideshows, chapter markers, DVD playback, video
            capture, blah blah blah ..... again, by far superior than
            MediaPlayer.

            Thus,
            70+ million iPods + iTunes + QT = DEADLY COMBINATION =
            game over MediaPlayer.
            OmarHash
          • It's not anyone thing that will hurt MS but a combination

            of many things. Linux and Open Source. Apple, MacTel, and OSX
            plus Apple has a slew of Applications that are SWEET! iTunes and
            the iPod will do their part. Google of course. MS is a big target
            and a lot of people/organizations are going to try and take their
            part. Will MS be destroyed? Not anytime soon...and likely not at
            all, but I might say they will shrink. After all Apple can not
            continue to add to her MarketShare without someone taking a hit.

            Pagan jim
            Laff
          • Somehow, I doubt it...

            [b]MS is a big target and a lot of people/organizations are going to try and take their part. Will MS be destroyed? Not anytime soon...and likely not at all, but I might say they will shrink. After all Apple can not continue to add to her MarketShare without someone taking a hit. [/b]

            1.) You incorrectly assume it's all a "zero sum game" - meaning there are only a fixed number of consumers available. This isn't the case. There are always new people getting computers, older consumers dying off, etc... The numbers, by no means are fixed.

            2.) What makes you think Microsoft won't come out with something that kicks the iPod's collective butt? History has a way of repeating itself. Just look at Netscape. From First to Worst in no time at all after the release of Windows 98 and IE 4.0.
            Wolfie2K3
      • Why?

        Unless done illegally, you still must have an Apple to run OSX. Apple, at least publicly, has absolutely no plans to have it available for standard PCs with good reason. Currently they have a balance between being a software and a hardware company. Opening up OSX to run on all standard PC computers would obliterate their desktop computer and laptop sales forcing them to focus almost entirely on software putting them directly against Microsoft and scrambling to get the thousands and thousands of drivers built or else people will revolt about not being supported.

        But.... if by some miracle Apple could pull it off (frankly I don't think they have the resources) everyone's hopes and dreams of Linux being dominate on the desktop would be obliterated.
        Yensi717
        • Licensing OSX

          Like you said, Apple has no public plans to license OSX to other PC makers. However, I wouldn't be surprised if privately, they have plans, or at least have had discussions of doing it at some point down the road.

          Right now, Apple still relies too much upon hardware sales. However, if they continue to increase market share and software offerings, at some point down the road (probably at least 5 years), I wouldn't be surprised if they began to license OSX to others PC makers. It's a necessary step if Apple truly wishes to compete with the "big boys" on the OS and application playing field.

          I'd also guess that when they do so, they won't open it up completely, rather just allow select companies such as Dell to use the same technology Apple uses to prevent OSX from being installed on just any Intel hardware. I doubt you'll be able to build your own Intel Mac anytime soon, at least legally.
          ArtVandelay
          • You don't know Steve...

            Steve Jobs is, and always has been, a hardware guy. We all know there is tremendous ego attachment betwn him and Apple as a company and a statement of style. This is a person who has a maniacal grasp of how things should look and work. Evn though he has softened in his old age...he will not allow his OS run on some ugly Dell or HP box...it just won't happen.

            What's more likely - and this is more in line with how Steve and the 'boys' at his level think - is that Vista will run on Apple's hardware - giving Michael Dell a run for his money. We're not far from the day when Oracle will push Apple (Intel)XServes as their preferred platform. Larry Ellison is giddy over the possibility that he can give his buddy's business that kind of boost...("...maybe then I'll be more like Steve").

            But license the Mac OS to PC makers...not until Steve leaves Apple. Personally, I would never let that ugly Windows icon or those clunky Windows windows appear on the screen of my Powerbook. No way!

            d2
            dzash2000