RedShark by David Shapton
Ever since Apple started to make its own processor chips for iPhones and iPads there has been speculation that, eventually, these components would end up powering Macs. It’s a reasonable thing to speculate about, given that Steve Jobs was, to put it mildly, fond of being in control. For Apple’s tight and skillfully planned production schedules to be at the mercy of Intel must really rankle.
Not only that, but Intel’s chips are arguably quite expensive. They probably constitute a significant percentage of Apple’s manufacturing costs. In a world of very tight margins, this matters.
Such a radical change of architecture would seem all but impossible if it weren’t for the fact that Apple did exactly the same sort of thing almost ten years ago, when it moved from PowerPC processors to Intel. Rumors of this were abundant in the several years before they did this (I remember writing about it at the time), and the key to the smooth transition was that (again a rumor, never officially confirmed as far as I know) they had a version of OS X up and running on Intel in parallel with the PowerPC version. They were all ready to switch when the time was right. read more...