Apple has been very successful when it comes to developing their own chips, like the new Dual Core A6X. These chips are growing more and more powerful with each iteration and soon, according to Bloomberg, Apple feels that they will eventually be able to cram enough power into their chips to run their laptops and desktops as well. In 2005 Apple decided to bring Intel into the mix when it came to processing power for the Mac. Intel makes some of the fastest an most powerful chips on the planet including the i7, which is the current chip used across the Mac experience.
The idea here is to create a seamless experience across their entire product line up, something Microsoft is also trying to achieve. Having the same chip architecture in each device can make that happen. There’s no doubt that Apple will try their hardest to make everything they can in-house, but how will this impact the Apple community?
Can Apple really create a chip that can do everything just as well as a world class Intel chip can do? After all, were not talking about Angry Birds here. I am trying to imagine running applications like Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro on an Apple CPU, it just doesn’t feel like it’s possible.
Apple can attract the talent needed to design great chips but this is still new territory for them and they will need time to grow and learn as a chip manufacturer. Yes, mobile devices are very powerful these days but the processing demands of pro users is many times that of any current mobile chip and at least for now, I can’t see any immediate change in the near future. As for the the next ten years or so, we could be looking at a much different story.
One of the great benefits of Apple moving to an Intel based machine was the ability to run Microsoft software on Apple hardware. If Apple were to switch chips, would you still be able to run Microsoft Windows on the Mac? How well would other developers receive that new chip line up? I think that this could potentially isolate Apple again and in way that works against them. Could this move be as bad as the decision to abandon Google and release an unfinished Map product? It’s not just the power of the Intel chip, it’s also about the name. Consumers want to see “Intel Inside” their Mac computers, it gives us confidence in that product’s capabilities, it’s a name we have grown to trust over the years.
It’s important to note that these are just rumors at best, but I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Apple is hard at work trying to find ways to put the Apple logo on everything they can inside their machines.