Apple to Begin Merging iOS and OS X With Quad-Core A6 Chip Next Year?

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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.
"We expect OS merger to start in 2012-13 and complete in 2016. Our preliminary view is that Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem's needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices. When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture," said Misek.
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.
"Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used," writes Misek. "We believe this will be difficult to implement if iOS and OS X are kept separate."
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?
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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I've said this several times on MacRumors before. But I said within 5 years this would happen. Well, 4 years since I started saying this last year with the iPad and all. 2012 seems a little ambitious, but when you have $75 billion lying around you can do a lot!

Remember that iMac patent? The one where it folds down so you can use it as a better touch surface? Combine that with pressure sensitivity with a stylus (like a Wacom) and pros will eat that up.
 

miles01110

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Jul 24, 2006
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The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
"Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used," writes Misek. "We believe this will be difficult to implement if iOS and OS X are kept separate."

Users also want to determine which content moves seamlessly between devices. This just looks like one more layer in Apple's walled garden.
 

cms2

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2007
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Hmm... I think we all saw this coming, just wasn't expecting it to happen quite so soon (if this analysis is correct, of course).

2012 does seem ambitious, but as someone said, 75 billion USD makes the impossible possible.
 

chrmjenkins

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Oct 29, 2007
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Quad core for A6 is conjecture. Very few SoC makers are pursuing quad-core for A9 derivative designs. Nvidia being the primary one. I believe ST is also doing one, but that's not intended for mobile device use.
 

Ksizzle9

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Walled garden...blah. I come from android and don't mind the added functionality that this so called "walled garden" adds. I've said it once and I'll say it again: if I can buy a quad core iOS X phone with at least a 64GB SSD, that will be the last phone I ever buy. As far as manufacturers go anyway
 

pewra

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Jun 26, 2011
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Completely bogus "analysis." These people just make it up. And are wrong far, far more often than right.

How do I land a job feeding rumour sites with click-baiting crap? Seems like anyone with half a brain can manage it.


I've said it once and I'll say it again: if I can buy a quad core iOS X phone with at least a 64GB SSD, that will be the last phone I ever buy. As far as manufacturers go anyway

You'll never need that though.

When will you ever have 64gb of content that isn't stagnant?
Do you really need to be cracking hashes on a mobile device?

Neither example is what the simplified iOS model is about, and the sheer number of iOS devices shows just how well that works.
 

Superken7

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Feb 13, 2011
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Is there any difference between reading an "analyst" and someone speculating on the comments section of a news site such as MacRumors?

I bet no, there isn't.
 

ender21

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Jul 15, 2010
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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.

The piece merely states the *beginning* of the merge to be in 2012-2013. That alone makes it longer than "short term" in my mind. But with a quote such as:

When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture

.. which specifies 2016, I wouldn't qualify 5 years as short term.

Completely bogus "analysis." These people just make it up. And are wrong far, far more often than right.

I would imagine that people who guess, whether it's their job or not, are wrong more often than not. But to say it's a "bogus" analysis implies that you know something no one else does.
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
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Apple just released a full 64-bit OS. They are not going to go back so soon. I do believe this will inevitably happen, but not yet.
 

mactmaster

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Jun 16, 2010
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What about the other way around, maybe Apple will switch iOS devices over to intel chips? Perhaps chips can get small and efficient enough to run in the small iOS devices within that timeframe.
 

vincenz

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Can't believe we're still giving credence to desk monkeys on Wall Street who think they have any idea what's going on at Apple HQs. Yeh...not buying it. Not in the near future.
 

MXSkier62

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I think we all saw this coming as an eventuality. My guess would be that OS 11, whatever and whenever it will be, will be the final merge of the two. Once that happens, Mac share of computer products is going to go through the roof.
 

theLimit

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Hooray! Back to the days of limited software selection and overpriced, under-performing ports. The transition from PPC to Intel was the best thing to happen to Macs. The ARM processors are getting much better, but so are Intels. They will never be as capable or compatible, and a move like this would make the Mac suffer and fade into the background again. But 2016 is a lifetime away in tech terms, so I'm not going to worry for quite some time.
 

Tom8

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I wonder if using Apple made chips would allow them to drop the price on the machines, since they won't be buying them from Intel
 

gnomeisland

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Can't believe we're still giving credence to desk monkeys on Wall Street who think they have any idea what's going on at Apple HQs. Yeh...not buying it. Not in the near future.

2016 is not the very very near future and Apple does seem to like to switch platforms every ten years: 68k to PPC (1984-1994), PPC to Intel (1994-2006), and now Intel to ARM (2006-2016). Of course, Apple will cross develop everything and should Intel deliver and ARM falter it could not happen but I believe Apple is looking at the possibility.
 
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