Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is gaining headlines today for a new report related by both International Business Times and Forbes, claiming that Apple is planning to harness the power of its forthcoming quad-core "A6" chip to begin merging iOS and OS X as soon as late next year. Misek claims that the merge will be completed by 2016 as 64-bit ARM processors become available to provide sufficient horsepower to run even professional-level OS X applications. Misek believes that the iOS-OS X merger is being driven by Apple's cloud ambitions, viewing a unified platform as key for seamless interaction with an online identity and associated content. According to the report, Apple is nearly ready to begin sampling the A6 system-on-a-chip, which is claimed to be making its way into iPad and iPhone models in 2012. Misek notes that a unified operating system and architecture for all of Apple's products will drive increased economies of scale when it comes to manufacturing and reduce research and development costs over the long-term when compared to the current dual-platform arrangement. Other rumors of Apple moving to ARM-based processors for its Mac lineup have surfaced in the past, with one report claiming that Apple has developed an A5-powered MacBook Air for testing purposes. We continue to see significant hurdles to such a dramatic shift, particularly over the short-term, and so we consider today's claims to be highly speculative in nature. Article Link: Apple to Begin Merging iOS and OS X With Quad-Core A6 Chip Next Year?