Behind the Apple-Intel Deal, IBM Surprised

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The New York Times provides some details behind Apple's switch to Intel. Of note, IBM was in the dark about the transition until very late in the game.

Several executives close to the last-minute dealings between Apple and I.B.M. said that Mr. Jobs waited until the last moment - 3 p.m. on Friday, June 4 - to inform Big Blue [IBM]. Those executives said that I.B.M. had learned about Apple's negotiations with Intel from news reports and that Apple had not returned phone calls in recent weeks.
IBM claims pricing was the major issue, while Apple insists performance delivery was at the core of the switch.

The New York Times also confirms that Apple has investigated other chips as well. Apple reportedly met with Sony regarding the Cell design but Jobs "was disappointed with the Cell design, which he believes will be even less effective than the PowerPC."

 

UberMac

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2005
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Surprised IBM were left in the dark so long...shows how powerful Apple must be I guess. Nice to see details will be emerging. Guess it's not much of a surprise that IBM make excuses about price, they wouldn't want their products lookin' bad.
 

Jedda

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2003
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Thats the Jobs in true form.

Interesting to see an insight into his thoughts on the Cell. I'll be interested to see how this whole thing pans out.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn
 

iJaz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2004
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I am quite surprised about the poor performance of the Cell chip that everybody is hyping.
 

mxpiazza

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2003
597
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cleveland, oh
everything i hear about the cell is terrible... how the xbox360* processing is lightyears ahead of the tech specs and performance that the cell brings to gaming, and now jobs saying that it will be even worse than the PPC... the cell sure isn't getting much good press.

and i'm sure Jobs dumping on the PPC is really going to make anyone want to buy a PPC mac in the next 18-24 months....
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
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IBM didn't fee like discounting the underperforming chips now that they had the Xbox deal.

Apple (and we!) wanted the faster and non-melting chips.

IBM was really surprised?.... They didn't have a clue?... If so, then thats really shows the core of the problem. IBM was comfortable enough with what they had with Apple that they didn't have a clue. They didn't see that the Powerbooks sucked, and that people were not buying them, which hurt Apple.

And we wonder why IBM has been trending downwards all these years?
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
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UK
arn said:
... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn

only in IBM blade servers, and i think you can buy some motherboard from someone which runs a form of linux :S
 

beatle888

macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2002
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iJaz said:
I am quite surprised about the poor performance of the Cell chip that everybody is hyping.

isnt that how it always is? im not surprised. and i wont be surprised if it turns out to be the best chip in the future.
 

GroundLoop

macrumors 68000
Mar 21, 2003
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arn said:
... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn
I would hope that Apple secured a contract for the next year an a half or the Mac lineup is going to go stale very soon. I doubt that Jobs would have let an oversight like that slip through.

Hickman
 

ZLurker

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2005
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arn said:
... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn
Im guessing the PPC lineup we will see in PM is already in preproduction state. Apple is just waiting for the right moment for the upgrade. They have to play their cards right so they dont stand with a new PM that wont be upgraded for 2 years.
I bet they could put 970mp in right now but thats the last card they have for another 2 years.....
 

wildmac

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2003
1,167
1
arn said:
... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn

if they have the fab process already in place, why not sell some more chips?...

but I disagree with a lot of folks thinking that faster chips might be coming out. With IBM's problems in this area already, now they'll be much less motivated to do it.

We might not see ANY speed increases in Apple hardware for the next 2 years in some cases. That could kill Apple.
 

Josh396

macrumors 65816
Oct 16, 2004
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Peoria/Chicago, IL
arn said:
... so one concern is what keeps IBM interested in developing PowerPC processors in the meanwhile? Contractual obligation?

I don't know if the 970's are used in volume much elsewhere.

arn
I was wondering the same thing. I don't know of anyone else that would use the 970 and what is IBM to do now with the 970MP? My guess Apple wasn't impressed at all with the 970MP or that IBM had no chance at all of a mobile version of the G5, although I would have thought the Dual Core G4 from Freescale would have been better then a G5. The PowerPC should stay alive due to all 3 next generation gaming consoles but I don't believe they are of the 970 family. Maybe IBM continues development and hopes for a breakthrough with their chips in order to bring Apple back? I don't think theres any chance at all for that but maybe.
 

swissmann

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2003
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The Utah Alps
IBM saying it was a cost issue doesn't help them much either. I can see them not saying there were performance/power issues but mention that they are too expensive too that really hits them from both sides. IBM chips are hot, not improving quickly in performance, and are expensive too? Wow.
 

Josh396

macrumors 65816
Oct 16, 2004
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Peoria/Chicago, IL
ZLurker said:
Im guessing the PPC lineup we will see in PM is already in preproduction state. Apple is just waiting for the right moment for the upgrade. They have to play their cards right so they dont stand with a new PM that wont be upgraded for 2 years.
I bet they could put 970mp in right now but thats the last card they have for another 2 years.....
I was thinking the same thing about the 970MP too. My guess is that it is close to ready but they are waiting for the perfect timeframe before the Intel switch to intice buyers.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
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iJaz said:
He just said it was not power effective.
He said the planned implementations would not be power-effective, not the architecture.
 

ZLurker

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2005
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Sweden
Here is some interesting reading from ibm:s hompage:
http://www.ibm.com/news/us/en/2005/06/2006_06_10.html

News

Keeping a secure footing in shifting chip landscape


Squeezing ever more transistors onto a single chip means microprocessors are running hotter and drawing more power. And that means design challenges and chip-performance trade offs. At the same time, the microprocessor market is shifting. Personal computers constitute a maturing market, while demand is being driven by proliferating mobile devices, the spread of broadband data connections and the advent of the digital home.
IBM clearly saw the branching paths of chip technology many years ago and is meeting the challenges of the new era, particularly with its family of POWER chips. Industry-leading design innovation is pushing POWER inside a wider range of products, from gaming consoles to company servers and lightning-fast supercomputers -- and the Power.org open development community ensures that collaboration fuels the accelerated evolution of POWER chip technology.
Learn more:
The Future is Wide Open: Understanding IBM’s Strategy
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
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Palookaville
beatle888 said:
i believe it was steve jobs.
Actually, it was the writer. It's not a direct quote from anyone.

Side note: I was surprised to find a veteran tech writer like John Markoff falling back on that terrible old "Macintosh faithful" cliché not once but twice in this article. Come on John, you're better than that!
 

iJaz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2004
540
0
cube said:
He said the planned implementations would not be power-effective, not the architecture.
He compared the performance per watt projected mid 2006 (and beyond). And Intel beat PPC, 70 to 15 (units of performance per watt).