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Apple to sue Motorola?


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
MacBidouille posts rumors that Apple may be planning on seeking legal action against Motorola due to the halting of development of the "G5".

According to the French site, Motorola was contractually bound to provide Apple a year's lead time before stopping development of the processor. That, on top of millions in wasted research dollars are the grounds for the potential suit.

The complaint will not be filed until after the release of the 970, per MacBidouille, as not to cause an immediate drop confidence in Apple's ability to manufacture faster machines.

MacBidouille has been very vocal regarding rumors of Apple's use of the IBM PowerPC 970 chip. They claim it will be announced at WWDC in June.


macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
Haha, could this bring an all IBM or even Intel/ AMD relation with Apple closer and cloer?


macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2002
can only be a good thing, provided they don't get their fingers burned my moto in the mean time...maybe the money will pay for the purchase of universal music ;)

Ambrose Chapel

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
Even if Apple does wait for the 970's release, I wonder how this suit might affect moto's delivery of G4 chips for the iMac/eMac/iBook/PowerBook. Even with the next gen chip out, Apple still will be dependent on moto for awhile yet.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2002
Originally posted by Ambrose Chapel
Even if Apple does wait for the 970's release, I wonder how this suit might affect moto's delivery of G4 chips for the iMac/eMac/iBook/PowerBook. Even with the next gen chip out, Apple still will be dependent on moto for awhile yet.

maybe they have a stockpile of chips till last till june/july when hopefully the 970 commes out....suggesting the whole rang will turn to 970.....i hope so, i dont want to pay the price of a powermac and a display but i'd like a 970, and the iMac looks so cool.... the iBook is safe however, isn't that a IBM G3?

Mr. MacPhisto

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2003
Well, if this is true it seems to me that Apple would switch to IBM chips completely. I'm not sure they'd still want to get G4s or any other chip from Moto with a pending lawsuit. Regardless of what happens, merely filing suit could cause a severing of ties. So either Apple will move everything to the 970 (not unprecedented for them to have everything on one chip) or IBM has got a 7xx PPC chip that Apple will use to replace the G4. I'm sure it would have an Altivec type engine.

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
It would be interesting to see what they do. Being still dependant on the G4 for the iMacs and PowerBooks after the 970 is released, I don' t know it would be such a good idea to piss Moto off.

Unless Apple has plans to move everything over to the 970 by next year - that would be nuts!



macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2002
A sherlock translation, I'm sure someone can do better:
A quite informed source teaches us that the cloth seems to burn
between APPLE and Motorola.

The drop which will have made overflow the vase comes from the
incapacity of Motorola to provide in quantity of the chips 7457 which
were to equip the top-of-the-range one with G4. The processors 1.42
GHz were to be of the 7457. However in fact 7455B heat much more.
Motorola will be unable to provide of the 7457 in quantity before 2

The response prepares in the offices of the legal service of APPLE.
This week, the direction of APPLE their gave the green light to study
a possible action at law. It would relate to several points:

1) Motorola had a contractual engagement at APPLE not to cease a
strategic production (G4 and... G5) without a one year notice.
However, Motorola had started for a long time to provide to APPLE
prototypes of processors "G5". They ceased in silence it there A 14
month the development of these chips. APPLE was informed only in
January. Motorola their notified that it was not economically
advantageous to launch the manufacture of a chip for only one customer
who would not order sufficient quantities. However, on the side of
apple, work had quite advanced. The mother boards for G5 processor
were already finalized and ready to start production. They would be 50
Million $ which would have thus evaporated for useless search.

2) APPLE also reproaches at Motorola (like us all) for having been
unable since 1999 to make climb the frequencies of the G4 processors
regularly. APPLE evaluates that the incapacity to propose faster
machines their made miss between 250 and 350 M$ by sales. They
evaluate that they will miss between 150 and $200M of sales in the
future bus of many customers passed in the Wintel world.

They are studying on the basis of these objection to continue Motorola
and to ask them between 300 and $500M compensation. They await just
the WWDC and PPC 970 announces before passing to the attack. Indeed,
they do not want to give the impression that G5 does not exist and
that they are at the edge of the pit, which of course is not the case.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2002
Originally posted by Ambrose Chapel
For now, yeah but I assume that it will get a G4 before too long though. Unless those new IBM G3s are as sweet as people say..

this is pure speculation but when/if Apple moves to 970, if the entire range doesn't change (benifit being every app can be written for 64 bit and wont need to versions of the OS etc) then I expect the pro range and possibly (hopefully) the iMac to go 970 and the low end educatuion/budget machines to go or stay IBM G3 but with added alvitec. Isn't the G4 only really the G3 + Alvitec anyway? And IBM have already licenced it for the 970 anyway and I could be wrong but I think i read somewhere that IMB co developed Alvitec with Moto....but i could be wrong....


macrumors member
Aug 2, 2001
Dakar, Senegal
The article just below the one regarding the lawsuit against Motorola claims that, according to a source, Hon Hai Precision, aka FOXCONN, has won an order from Apple to manufacture PPC 970 PowerMacs. According to that same source, Hon Hai has started receiving parts to be assembled, with the chips coming from IBM. Finally, the article claims that the PPC 970 will be mounted on ZIF supports, that is not directly on the motherboard. If true, ZIF PPC 970s means that future processor upgrades should be easy.



macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
Ha ha haaa!
Wow, I so hope this is true. I'm not claiming to know all the ins and outs of it all, but it's pretty clear to me that Motorola has simply not given a damn about Apple since after the G4. It's definitely been holding Apple's hardware advancement back. Go Apple! :D


I think Apple wants the "G5" Label for the PPC970 and will switch the low end to G3s

Considering the fact that the Moto "G5" is basically dead and Moto ****ed over Apple big time with that (besides the lameass G4s) one of the goals of the suit probably will be to get them to give the "G5" label to Apple so they can use it for the PPC970. Looking at the specs of the upcoming G3 Gobi with up to 2GHz from IBM I think it would be a wise idea from Apple to give up on the G4 totally and switch entirely to IBM. Maybe they can even get Big Blue to add Altivec to the G3 like they did to the PPC970 thus calling it G3+ or something like that.
Just my 2 cents.



macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2003
Greenvale, NY
Good idea!

Motorola has been stagnant in this area of technology.
Consider the loss is sales (to Apple) because of it.
I think the Motorola relationship is through....

Good for Apple. We need to look at new technology
and the companies that can supply it!


macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2001
Montgomery, AL
Rock! Now this has been a long time coming. If the article is correct about Moto being required to give one year's lead time before stopping development on the G5, then this is a definite breach of contract with liability ramifications into the billions. Lost R&D, lost sales (tougher to prove), and potential fraud (with misleading information about the G5 and its production) could equal more than big money for Apple. It could finally be one last screw you to the incompetent and lethargic asshats over at Motorola. :)

That said, is it really a good idea to piss them off so thoroughly? I mean, what if Apple needs a second supplier of chips again? Motorola didn't always suck, as I'm sure IBM won't to begin with. It is possible that IBM may not be able to meet demand for the rest of Apple's corporate life, and Motorola might be a valuable ally in that case. Just a thought... :(

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
Washington, DC
Suit a way off . . .

If that translation is even vaguely right, Apple is at most sabre-rattling right now. Apple's lawyers are looking at the facts and the relevant contracts to see how strong a lawsuit would be. Then they'll write a letter (or make a call) to Moto to say, "you know, your failures really deserve a lawsuit." Then moto will start to try to work out some deal, and apple will too. And then a year from now, Apple will get fed up and file a suit, maybe.

As others pointed out, it's a pretty bad idea to sue your only supplier. The threat of a suit will "encourage" moto to step up development. And, if they don't, realize that apple will own them after winning a breach of contract suit.


macrumors newbie
Apr 11, 2003
Yeah its about time Apple severe its ties with a company that REALLY holding them back processor-wise!:D


macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
New Zealand
I don't like to see anyone get sued unless it's Micro$oft. However, I think the lack of a fast processor has seriously hurt Apple.

I've delayed my purchase of a PowerMac for over a year and a half and I don't know when I'll purchase one. The processor is a major reason. $perfromance
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