Published in PC Hardware

Apple unlikely to dump Intel by 2020

by on10 April 2018

It is probably just an attempt to get a price reduction

Last week the Tame Apple Press was reporting how Apple was going to dump Intel and use its flavour of ARM chips in its MacOS computers.

To the Tame Apple Press (TAP), this is simple proof of how cool Apple is. In a few short years, with a bit of help from ARM, it can come up with a chip which matches Intel’s finest.

It is good news for TAP. Intel needs more competition, and Apple is a good customer for Intel chips. However, no one for a moment thought “is this possible?”

While Apple might be able to make better and faster A-series RISC-based processors they are not exactly the best thing to run a PC. While Microsoft has been making slow work putting Windows on ARM chips, its use is limited, and the functionality of such PCs are limited in comparison to x86. Good enough for basic low-powered portable PCs perhaps,  but not good enough for the demands of Apple fanboys who use the gear for work.

It is not viable for those who use Macs for desktop publishing or music. All the software for that market is x86 focused. Apple might be able to create a PC friendlier chip of its own if it buys a licence from Intel for x86, but Intel is unlikely to want to do that.

There are some other issues for Apple too. For a while, Apple has been working on Project Marzipan to bring iOS apps to macOS computers. However this tech only works because Intel has in-processor Virtualization technology, something Jobs’ Mob will lose.

For a while, though this rumour that Apple is somehow competent enough to match Intel in PC chips, but this is just a Tame Apple Press wet dream. Sooner or later they are going to wake up and realise that their favourite company is not that innovative, and certainly cannot make a PC chip like Intel or AMD.

Then there is the small matter of why Apple would do it. Merrill Lynch analyst, Wamsi Mohan, said Apple would save $40 to $50 if it uses its own in-house Mac processors. Which is nothing given the problems it would cause. Even if it had a chip ready, Apple would only save $500 million. The cost of which would be losing most of its client base. Apple’s move to Intel processors was extremely popular.

Seeking Alpha thinks that it is more believable that Apple is making new co-processors for more Mac OS X computer products. This is not so exciting and will not mean that Intel is losing any sleep. It is possible that Apple is trying to pressure Intel for a price cut in its chips, but ultimately Apple has to stick to x86.


Last modified on 10 April 2018
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