Published in PC Hardware

Qualcomm is not taking the M1 chip seriously enough

by on07 December 2020

Tame Apple press gets its knickers in a knot

The Tame Apple Press is incandescent with rage that Qualcomm is not worried about Apple’s new Apple's M1 Macs.

If you believe them, Qualcomm should be panicking as Apple has clearly knocked it out of the chip race and it is destined to be an afterthought.

What seems to have got them cross was that Qualcomm executives brushed off a question about Apple's new M1-based Macs during a question and answer session at the company's Snapdragon Summit.'s lead mobile analyst calls Qualcomm "a little too unbothered by Apple's M1 Macs" and pointed out that Qualcomm announced a new flagship smartphone chipset but no upgrades to its year old chips for PCs.

“In general, reviews of Qualcomm-powered laptops such as the Microsoft Surface Pro X have celebrated the devices' long battery life, but lamented problems with third-party apps that were originally coded for Intel processors. That stands in stark contrast to Apple's new M1-based Macs, which don't seem to be slowed down as badly by older software”, he wrote.

Of course he ignored the fact that the Macs lack 4G connectivity and still have poor quality, 720p front-facing cameras and Qualcomm addresses "many tiers...and many price points" with its 7c, 8c, and 8cx laptop chipsets, letting Windows laptop makers drive prices well below the MacBook Air's $999 list price.

However the feeling is that Qualcomm's must announce a laptop chip that's based on the new Snapdragon 888 and has a level of “raw power closer to Apple's M1”.

Qualcomm is likely working on a new Windows PC-centric SoC that is based on Snapdragon 888 or similar architecture. Qualcomm has promised a 25 percent uplift in CPU and a 35 percent lift in GPU performance over the Snapdragon 865, with the Snapdragon 888, which already offers a big boost over the previous gen Snapdragon 855/8cx. So, Qualcomm has the potential to put up a strong showing against the Apple M1, whenever its next-generation Snapdragon PC chip launches.

But when you have John Gruber at Daring Fireball argues that currently "M1 Macs embarrass all other PCs — all Intel-based Macs, including automobile-priced Mac Pros, and every single machine running Windows or Linux” you realise that we are not in the Kansas of sanity when it comes to the Tame Apple Press’s view of the M1.


Last modified on 07 December 2020
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