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iPad was to be Atom based

by on27 October 2011

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Jobs’ biography reveals

Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson revealed that Apple’s overgrown iPhone dubbed the iPad was intended to be Intel Atom based. Thankfully for the company, Apple’s execs persuaded Jobs to go with ARM.

The biography reveals that Jobs and VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive started developing the device in the ‘00s, while the first sketches were revealed in patent applications 2004. Naturally, the sketches showed only the outside and not the innards of the device. 

So, although Jobs planned to go with Intel Atoms, Senior VP of the iPod division Tony Fadell insisted on ARM. Strangely enough, the biography quotes Jobs as saying that it’s "best to trust Intel to make good mobile chips".

This is what Jobs had to say about the matter to his biographer:”"At the high-performance end, Intel is the best. They build the fastest chip, if you don't care about the power and cost. But they build just the processor on one chip, so it takes a lot of other parts. Our A4 has the processor and the graphics, mobile operating system, and memory control all in one chip. We tried to help Intel, but they do not listen much. We have been telling them for years that their graphics suck. Every quarter we schedule a meeting with me and our top three guys and Paul Otellini. At the beginning, we were doing wonderful things together. They wanted this big joint project to do chips for future iPhones. There were two reasons we did not go with them. One was that they are just really slow. They are like a steamship, not very flexible. We are used to going pretty fast. Second is that we just did not want to teach them everything, which they could go and sell to our competitors".

More here.

Last modified on 27 October 2011
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