An interesting article at Ars Technica takes a look at some compelling data (the longer-than-normal processor update cycles in Apple’s personal computer lineup) and speculates that Apple’s enthusiasm for its partnership with Intel might be cooling. Like Apple’s soured relationship with once-BFF Google, this may be the result of Intel’s increasing activities in the mobile computing space.Of course, it might just be because Apple just doesn’t care about old fashioned personal computers anymore. Then again, Apple’s accountants must still love Macs, because Apple just posted record Mac sales. But Apple jumping to AMD? As interesting as AMD’s Bulldozer architecture may turn out to be, we’ve all been burned by processor architectures that seemed awesome in concept but never delivered on their promises. PowerPC, anyone?
As the Ars article mentions, Apple’s reticence might simply be because they don’t like Intel’s Westmere chips that much, and is holding out for the upcoming Sandy Bridge line. And of course, how long has it been since any of us bought a new personal computer because the processor wasn’t fast enough? Everyone who’s doing video rendering and complex scientific simulations raise your hands. Everyone else, you are liars!
But the real conspiracy theory is that Apple is peeved about yet another deep-pocketed competitor entering its smartphone turf. Intel essentially has been saying, “we plan to design a complete reference smartphone package, from hardware to software to an app store, and then offer that to every single one of Apple’s competitors, who will either go straight to market with it or will improve on it and then go to market.”
Ars believes that the Intel-Apple relationship is sure to end badly. What do you think?