Update: Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned.
Apple has used IBM's PowerPC processors since 1994, but will begin a phased transition to Intel's chips, sources familiar with the situation said. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said.
The announcement is expected Monday at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor.
Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips | CNET News.com
I don't really buy it. Brian doesn't. John doesn't.
The reason is that it doesn't make any damn sense for Apple to do this. I think news.com.com is just trolling for links and hits over the weekend, while we await WWDC (hey, they got me to link). WWDC is Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, where big Apple announcements are typically made.
Here are the probabilities as I see them:
-news.com.com (what a stupid URL) are whoring for attention, and this news is a lot smaller than they're implying. 99%
-Apple to switch to x86 architecture wholesale across its product lines, the second time in the last decade or so that it's jumped to a completely different chip architecture. 1%
-Apple and Intel are jointly announcing a brand-new processor architecture. 5%
-Apple switching to emulating PPC on x86 for their cheaper entry-level consumer Mac, the Mac Mini. High end Macs continue to use PPC. 10%
-Same as above, but it's Apple's speed-deprived notebooks
that get the PPC on x86 technology. 15%
-Apple switches to Intel, but not
x86. Instead, Intel produces PPC chips for Apple. Alternatively, Apple is jumping to the Cell platform, and Intel will produce Cell processors for them. Both the PPC and Cel architectures are open so Intel wouldn't have a problem leaping into the fray. 20%
-Apple has a new headless server product based on Darwin, sans the Apple GUI, which will run on x86. 30%
-Apple is not switching any Macs to a different architecture. Apple is to use an Intel chipset on existing machines, or Intel's ARM processor (the X-Scale) in either future iPods (video iPods?) or a new tablet Mac. 35%
-Apple is going to surprise us and blow our minds with some new, hitherto-unpredicted product that uses an Intel processor: 45%
My gut tells me that news.com.com is full of it. We'll see what Monday's Stevenote brings.