Do you see a price drop when Apple goes to Intel?

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
Central Pennsylvania, USA
Does anyone see a price drop in machines when Apple totally converts over to Intel? I cant imagine them still wanting to charge as high a price as they do now. I can almost be certain that there will be a way to hack the OS to run on any PC once they switch to Intel.

Thoughts?
 

Chimera

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2004
256
0
Surrey, England
I guess to stop hacking they could use some kind of custom system chips not used by PCs, I seriously doubt Apple will let any kind of MacOS onto a standard PC desktop.

As for price drops, some have said that intel chips will be more expensive, but then again as more items (PCI-E etc) are integrated onto the chip an advanced system controller will not be necessary (From a theregister.co.uk article), so who knows....
 

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
Central Pennsylvania, USA
I am just thinking of what Apple might try and think ahead of time. Figuring that if they lower the price of the machines, then most people wont bother to try and hack a system to load OS X on it, rather just by an Apple Intel machine.

Once the switch comes, if someone figures a way to hack a standard PC to run OS X and pay only about $500 for the box, dont you think everyone will do it and save roughly $1200?

I think Apple really needs to consider this when they jump into Intel processors.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,602
145
Bergen, Norway
Nope... the CPU is just one of many components, and Apple can not match Dells quanta (any time soon) and will thus not get Intel's chips (much) cheaper than whatever they pay for Freescale/IMB chips today...
 

jim.

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2004
308
0
C-ville, VA
I think there will be a big problem in hacking OSX to run on standard PC hardware --- driver support. I doubt most of the people who will want to run OSX on their homegrown machines will be willing to program their own ACPI driver (which are non-standard from company to company) or even their own low-level mobo chipset (Controller) drivers. As I doubt the manufacturers are going to provide OSX implementations of these drivers, the hacked versions of OSX are pretty much SOL unless you have the same hardware as what Apple is offering. This is just my conjecture, but I am more confident in it than the "I'm going to buy a cheap PC and wait so I can get a hacked version of OSX to run."

The only solution to these problems would be complete virtualization (VMWare-like approach). That will amount to a user experience of utter crap though, particularly due to all the direct hardware access that OSX needs just for its UI.

Jim

Add-on: Oh, and if Apple sticks with Open Firmware as a requirement on their boards, then you'll have to get rid of your BIOS to run OSX. Not a good tradeoff, because then you can't run Windows too, which is a selling point to some just for games.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
My vote is that Apple continues to match their current price points. Why shouldn't they? They are already in the same price league as Sony and IBM, who use Intel chips and Windows to boot! All three demand premium pricing for premium quality, design and features.

I am *sure* that people will indeed hack MacOS onto Wintel hardware. But that is not at all the same as Apple allowing its use in the mainstream. The number of users who will use a hacked OS is relatively small in the broader Windows community. So even if such a thing comes to pass, it will not be the equivalent of Apple selling MacOS to run on Dells and HPs.
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
cgratti said:
I can almost be certain that there will be a way to hack the OS to run on any PC once they switch to Intel.

Thoughts?
I wouldn't be so sure about that. If apple doesn't use the standard PC BIOS, which they probably won't, then no PC motherboard would be able to handle Mac OS. It may be possible, I don't know, but I don't think its going to be easy or something that would happen on a large scale.
 

rundevilrun

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2002
97
0
Who cares about the price of the hardware, how much is it going to be for software? Will devs provide universal binaries for older apps for free or will anybody who just bought photoshop 8 or Final Cut 5 have to shell out for Photoshop 9 and FC 6 just to avoid running in emulation mode?
 

jim.

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2004
308
0
C-ville, VA
rundevilrun said:
Who cares about the price of the hardware, how much is it going to be for software? Will devs provide universal binaries for older apps for free or will anybody who just bought photoshop 8 or Final Cut 5 have to shell out for Photoshop 9 and FC 6 just to avoid running in emulation mode?
Good question. Most companies probably won't want to go back and recompile their old products. I bet they will provide a "patch" to their current product when the x86 line rolls out. Previous products will probably be out in the dark, unfortunately.

Jim
 

javiercr

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
419
0
London
many things make mac expensive, metal powerbooks (think of the Ti ones) are more expensive that dell cheap plastic, same for all other products, they use more expensive materials, i read somewhere that the most expensive part of an eMac is the case!
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
cgratti said:
Does anyone see a price drop in machines when Apple totally converts over to Intel? I cant imagine them still wanting to charge as high a price as they do now. I can almost be certain that there will be a way to hack the OS to run on any PC once they switch to Intel.

Thoughts?
Wintel computers are not cheaper because they use Intel processors. They are cheaper for two reasons. One is that Wintel development costs are spread over a large number of units produced by serveral manufacturers. The second is that Wintel computers are supported by advertising. IIRC, every third-party icon on the desktop represents a $70 payment to the manufacturer.

As for the OS, Apple says that its Intel-based computers will run Windows. However, Apple will not support Windows on its machines. Currently you cannot run the MacOS X on just anybody's PPC computer is because it is prohibited by the EULA. It is not prohibited by the hardware. We know that Darwin runs on industry-standard Intel hardware. Although Apple says that Leopard will not run on non-Apple hardware, this is not necessarily a technical limitation. It may very well be that only the EULA prevents Leopard from running on that shiny new Gateway.
 

jim.

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2004
308
0
C-ville, VA
MisterMe said:
Currently you cannot run the MacOS X on just anybody's PPC computer is because it is prohibited by the EULA. It is not prohibited by the hardware. We know that Darwin runs on industry-standard Intel hardware. Although Apple says that Leopard will not run on non-Apple hardware, this is not necessarily a technical limitation. It may very well be that only the EULA prevents Leopard from running on that shiny new Gateway.
Actually you are right and wrong. OSX requires Open Firmware to set up devices and give the kernel a device tree. It is a special ROM within a Mac that does this. This is most certainly a hardware limitation to OSX. Also, you have to have the device drivers for what you are using. This is another limitation if your hardware isn't the same as the hardware Apple is selling. To my knowledge you can't just build a commodity Amiga PPC and boot OSX. You have to run it through Mac on Linux because it emulates the ROM.

True, it is against the EULA to install OSX on such hardware. You can probably get around that if you program all your stuff into the more open Darwin and go from there. This will require a lot of work though.

Now if Apple completely ditches Open Firmware, then you are almost totally right. The only limitation is going to be lack of low level drivers for that shiny new Gateway, as it probably doesn't use the same mobo chipset or ACPI implementation as Apple's x86 computers. You did want data I/O and peripheral management with OSX too, right?

Jim
 

aricher

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
2,211
0
Chi-il
7on said:
Don't forget you can't use a Mac video card in a PC and a PC video card in a Mac.
Sure you can - it's just a matter of flashing the bios. I've installed many a PC video card in older Macs without a hitch - it does void the warranty and according to Apple is "not supported." I've flashed PC SCSI RAID cards as well with no ill effects.
 

Crikey

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2004
356
0
Spencer's Butte, Oregon
I don't expect a price drop. Apple makes nicer hardware than most PC vendors do, and there are costs associated with that. Even if the products weren't nicer, I think Steve Jobs is comfortable selling a more-exclusive, upscale-branded product for a higher price. I don't see him reducing Apple to another commodity PC manufacturer running on 3% margins.

Also, don't assume because some PCs are cheaper that Intel's CPU chips are. Years ago I compared the prices of CPU chips between Intel and its (then) many RISC competitors (Sun, IBM, MIPS, HP PA-RISC, DEC Alpha), and despite the economies of scale possible with Intel's huge production numbers, their chips were actually more expensive in some cases (although of course I was comparing oranges to, umm, apples). "Intel compatibility" was seen as a selling point, and Intel milked it to rake in money while other CPU makers struggled. Most of the alternatives on that list aren't around any more. Maybe years of strong competition from AMD have made Intel's prices more reasonable? I don't have recent figures, most saliently a comparison of Pentium 4 vs. G5 raw CPU prices.

MisterMe, I was kinda wondering if Intel-based Macs would be able to run Windows, but didn't see a statement about it. Gotta link so I can get educated?


Crikey
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
mkrishnan said:
My vote is that Apple continues to match their current price points. Why shouldn't they? They are already in the same price league as Sony and IBM, who use Intel chips and Windows to boot! All three demand premium pricing for premium quality, design and features.

Almost spewed my soda on the Sony quality. Design, yes. Quality, no. Have had three or four Sony's; and all had issues in the warranty period - or there after (thanks heavens for the extended warranty's).
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,813
2,712
Price drop? No.

Apple doesn't want to compete with Dell on a race to the bottom. They are a premium company.

And yes, Sony QUALITY? You must be joking...
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Chip NoVaMac said:
Almost spewed my soda on the Sony quality. Design, yes. Quality, no. Have had three or four Sony's; and all had issues in the warranty period - or there after (thanks heavens for the extended warranty's).
Ahem...My mistake. Sorry. I meant to say that each of the three sell for premium pricing based on some mix of those attributes. I actually have never owned or seriously used a Sony, though, so I can't comment on reliability...but I think my general claim (as restated) is true.
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
If this Intel move is partly to help Macs gain more acceptance and market-share, then Apple will have no choice but to reduce the cost of their hardware a bit to make it more competitive. Price resistance is the biggest problem with convincing PC users to switch, in my experience. They look at a $799 eMac and then point to a $399 Dell and wonder why they have to pay double for what they perceive as less.

IMO, this is really the biggest hurdle for Apple, not the chip. Mac Mini is a good step towards that, but, when you consider the additional costs to buy an extra monitor, keyboard or mouse, then you're talking about an iMac, which start at over $1000. That's more of a problem for Apple.
 

mklos

macrumors 68000
Dec 4, 2002
1,896
0
My house!
MontyZ said:
If this Intel move is partly to help Macs gain more acceptance and market-share, then Apple will have no choice but to reduce the cost of their hardware a bit to make it more competitive. Price resistance is the biggest problem with convincing PC users to switch, in my experience. They look at a $799 eMac and then point to a $399 Dell and wonder why they have to pay double for what they perceive as less.

IMO, this is really the biggest hurdle for Apple, not the chip. Mac Mini is a good step towards that, but, when you consider the additional costs to buy an extra monitor, keyboard or mouse, then you're talking about an iMac, which start at over $1000. That's more of a problem for Apple.
Well the people that look at the $399 Dell don't really know what they're buying. The Mac Mini is one the best deals out there. There's no need to get a new keyboard/Mouse and display if you already have them. If not, then you can buy the Apple Keyboard/Mouse for $40 and get a good 17" LCD for under $300, or a 17" CRT for under $200, so how does that add up to $1,000+???? Plus, you get well over $200 worth of software, a decent video card with its own RAM, a CDRW/DVD Combo Drive, FW, DVI Out. This is all stuff you don't get on a $399 Dell. And most importantly, a 1 yr. warranty, as opposed to the 90 day warranty of the $399 Dell.

I don't think the prices will go down very much if any. Intel processors aren't all that cheap to begin with. Add that to the Apple designed hardware and you're right up to the current prices.

Not everyone looks at/buys the $399 Dell. It boggles my mind how some people compare all Macs to the $399 Dell.
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,226
444
NY
I never built a computer before, but does this mean that you could build your own Mac.... :eek: and of course i would use the ugly rip-off of the PM G5 case lol :rolleyes:
 

mklos

macrumors 68000
Dec 4, 2002
1,896
0
My house!
No, that will never happen. It will still be an Apple logicboard and you'll need the BootROM inorder to boot into OS X. The only way to get the BootROM is to get a logicboard from Apple, and they'll laugh their asses off if you call and ask them for a logicboard for an Intel processor. Ain't gonna happen!