Monday, May 23, 2005

Apple-Intel: Smokescreen, Rehased Rumor or Reality?

Well this news has the press in a tizzy:

WSJ: "Apple Explores Use Of Chips From Intel For Macintosh Line" -- "The computer maker has been in talks that could lead to a decision soon to use Intel Corp. chips in its Macintosh computer line, industry executives say, a prospect that may shake up the world of computers and software." Quote via MacSurfer's Headline News.

I couldn't help but wonder why this news/persistent rumor was surfacing again at such a precarious time for Apple. After all, they were smacked on Friday with a sexual/race/POUS (Person of Unusual Size, for you Princess Bride fans -- no disrespect intended to the person) lawsuit. While the lawsuit is almost surreal given that Apple has been friendly to alternate lifestyles with benefits and all, it has some serious ramifications, not the least of which is to drag Apple's name through the mud and tarnish a company with an arguably good reputation in this arena.

My gut tells me the Intel news is a smokescreen. My heart tells me that it isn't. My heart wants to believe that we'll see Apple/Intel machines - even Centrino-based PowerBooks/iBooks - that will bring the cost of Macs down even further. I know this is a hot topic, and I'm not throwing it out for flamebait. There are pros/cons of Apple/Intel. I like the prospect.

The rehashed rumor mongering is always out there. A "highly placed employee of Apple" told a friend who told so and so at the WSJ and so on. Rinse, repeat.

Whatever the case, it is a news generator and stock mover for Apple. As of this writing, Apple is up 82 cents.

Thoughts? Is this a smokescreen, rehash, or does this seem to have more credibility coming from the WSJ?


Anonymous said...

Just a misunderstanding on the part of the Wall Street Journal, who's reporters probably are all using Intel PCs. Apple has talked with Intel in the past and will do so in the future. This rumor is likely involving some new chips Intel is going to produce for some other application such as WiMax. Apple uses other manufacturer's chips in their range of hardware, just not the Mac. Also, I would like you to tell me just which Intel chips are cheaper. I don't believe it! Don't use the Intel portables against the current G5s, as the G4s are presently Apple's portable's chips.

Anonymous said...

One one has yet mentioned that Apple uses Intel chips in its Xserves (Raid Controlers). Perhaps the speculation might go more toward using low cost Raid controlers in PowerMacs or the rumored Xstation. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

The establishment of and the associated Patent policy changes of IBM and others could open the door to the production of PPC chips by Intel FOR Apple. Nothing would light a fire under IBM and FreeScale like the possibility of direct competition with Intel.
Another possibility (more likely) would be an integrated WiMax chipset or integrated Cell Phone capabilities into PowerBooks. Who knows, maybe Apple wants to add Intel's PDA chips to future iPods.

Anonymous said...

Arstechnica mentioned the possibility of using Intel chip "the Xscale CPU, a cool little chip that is fantastic for things like appliances and portable devices. Think gadgets and set-top boxes." No one seems to believe Apple will use x86 CPUs. So FUD on that idea. Ars may be closest to correct.

Anonymous said...

MacOSRumors is reporting on possibility of Apple creating a dual line. One using PPC, the other using x86 and letting market decide which chip rules.

Anonymous said...

I think Apple is being attacked on all front these days because some company whose name begins with M feels threatened (really).

I guess the intel news is a smoke screen to make us forget about some bad news. Anyway Apple has to fight much worse unethical practices from some companies spreading FUD, so they have little or no choice to use some media manipulation tactics.