Apple goes Intel

Interesting: as of this time next year, Apple will start shipping Intel-powered Macs. It makes sense, but as one Rick James (presumably not the esteemed funkmeister) notes in an Engadget comment:

Who the F*** is going to buy an apple PC over the next year with a processor that is effectively redundant?

Price cuts ahoy?

Update, 8 June

As ever, John Gruber’s take is well worth a read:

Apple’s attitude is clear: we’ll take a couple of quarters of weak sales now, and make it up for next year when the new systems ship. With growing iPod revenue, it’s entirely possible that Mac sales could take a complete nosedive for the remainder of 2005 and Apple could remain profitable. (It’s also possible that we will see some outstanding price cuts on existing product lines in the coming months.)

4 thoughts on “Apple goes Intel

  1. Stephen West says:

    I don’t know; I’ve seen this comment over and over again from the usual halfwits (Ovum etc) and even as a knee-jerk reaction it seems poor: the chipset technology is essentially irrelevant to the end-user. It’s not like PowerPC-based Macs will stop working when Intel-based Macs debut. Obviously developers will continue to support PowerPC architecture for years to come, as long as there is a user base, and since you would probably replace your Mac after a few years anyway, what’s the big deal? I predict the opposite effect: PowerPC Macs at a premium due to the cautious wanting to lock in the current, proven technology until everyone gets the x86 bugs worked out, and of course the Mac nutter nostalgia buffs wanting to own the “last real Macs”.

  2. Gary says:

    > It’s not like PowerPC-based Macs will stop working when Intel-based Macs debut.

    True, but isn’t there an element of worrying about the future here? What I mean is – for example, the latest iteration of iLife needs 10.3.4 (or 10.3.6 for the HD and RAW stuff), so if you haven’t upgraded from an earlier OS then tough luck. I’d be worried that if I bought a PowerPC mac this year, I might not be able to upgrade to Leopard’s successor.

    Haven’t really thought about this in any detail – been lying on the sofa playing Alien Hominid :)

  3. Stephen West says:

    I think Apple will continue to support PowerPC for some time to come. Obviously there will be a point at which you will have to upgrade, but I think it will be when you would have upgraded the hardware anyway; Apple might try to “encourage” you to do that a bit earlier than you otherwise would have, but if the stuff works, you can resist. (Some people still use Classic apps, I believe).

    In fact, as Daring Fireball points out, there will be a cost to switching to Intel Macs, if you want the full performance boost, over and above the new hardware, because your PowerPC-binary apps will run in Rosetta emulation, which is bound to be slower than native. And I don’t think Adobe et al will provide the “universal” Intel-PowerPC binaries as free upgrades…

    So I for one am not rushing into this Intel thing. If I am wrong and prices do drop on the PowerPC stuff, I’m gonna pick up a nice G5 and maybe a Mini too.

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