Freescale CEO on Apple, Intel and IBM

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CNet provides an interview with Michel Mayer, CEO of Freescale Semiconductor. Freescale is the Motorola spin-off which provides Apple with the PowerPC G4 processor used in the Mac Mini and current Mac Laptops. Apple has a contract with Freescale to fulfill G4 processor orders until as late as Dec 31, 2008 if required. (Apple is under no obligation to continue purchasing them through that time, however.)

The interview provides some confirmation of Apple's earlier consideration to move to Intel.

In my previous job, I ran IBM's semiconductor business. So I've seen both sides of the Apple story, because I sold the G5 to Steve (Jobs) the first time he wanted to move to Intel.
This information was previously revealed in an internal IBM newsletter about Apple's potential switch to Intel at that time. Instead, Apple went forward with the PowerPC 970 (G5).

Meanwhile, Mayer goes on to say that IBM's focus has shifted to consoles:

IBM decided not to take the G5 into the laptop and decided to really focus its chip business on the game consoles.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
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it was obvious early on of IBM's shift towards consoles but for them to basically admit they couldn't be arsed making a laptop spec version of the G5 would just make me want to slap them, if i was apple..
 

dogsbody

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2004
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I agree. They need a series of varying-degree-of-firmness slaps.

Now all we need, to ensure a good level of irony, is to find someone who's become so proficient at stealthy operations (by playing on an IBM-processor equipped games console) that they can sneak into IBM headquarters and administer some large-scale slappage.

*SLAP* :eek:
 

Daschund

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Sep 16, 2003
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New York Citeeeeeeyyyy!
One more thing to back Jobs decision of moving to Intel... Don't know if they knew at the time that IBM was shifting priorities, but it was the right move to do after all...

Daschund
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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So IBM just brought this upon themselves, although now they claim to have a low-power version of the G5 (whose performance relative to the G4 is questionable). If Jobs had considered moving to Intel waaay back then, I wonder if in retrospect the switch to IBM was a mistake. The PowerPC never really outshined Intel's processors. It was (is?) a good processor, but it never managed to outdistance itself from the competition.
 

~Shard~

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Jun 4, 2003
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Very interesting that he sold Jobs the G5 the first time he wanted to move to Intel. ;) With this, and the fact that OS X has been co-developed on Intel platforms since it's inception, you can see where Jobs's head was at all this time. No portable G5 solutions was probably the straw that broke the camel's back.
 

Aggamemnon

macrumors member
Nov 24, 2005
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Well I'm glad Apple are moving and besides, IBM always used to be the enemy.

Now things are going back to the way they were before :)
 

Ktulu

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Jul 23, 2002
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It is possible

It's completely possible that Steve Jobs wanted to do a two fold transition. When OS X was first introduced he might have wanted to also switch to Intel proc. My basis for this is due to the 'double' life OS X has been leading since it was introduced. IBM convinced him of this "great new processor" coming so he stuck it out. Now, like others have mentioned with the lack of portable level processors he has finally said enough's enough.

Just my thoughts on this.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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G5 was a waste of time for Apple, It wont go mobile, needs a gigantic cooling solution, plus they needed two CPU's to compete with one cpu from the otherside. I bet if Jobs could go back into time there wouldnt be a G5. Apple produced a lot of spin around that G5, G5 products have all had some major teething problems. This will be a very short lived processor as Apple history go's.
 

hcuar

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Jul 23, 2004
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Dont Hurt Me said:
G5 was a waste of time for Apple, It wont go mobile, needs a gigantic cooling solution, plus they needed two CPU's to compete with one cpu from the otherside. I bet if Jobs could go back into time there wouldnt be a G5. Apple produced a lot of spin around that G5, G5 products have all had some major teething problems. This will be a very short lived processor as Apple history go's.
I'm not sure about "compete"... My dual 1.8 at home kicks the crap out of my 2.8 Ghz P4 at work. My P4 hangs and slows like crazy. My PM gets used for some pretty heavy processing at home with no slow downs. I'm very picky about speed and I hope that the new Pentium based Macs will perform at the level of the current PPC guys.
 

AidenShaw

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Feb 8, 2003
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Apple's big mistake with the Intel transition

Dont Hurt Me said:
G5 was a waste of time for Apple, It wont go mobile, needs a gigantic cooling solution, plus they needed two CPU's to compete with one cpu from the otherside. I bet if Jobs could go back into time there wouldnt be a G5...
And in 2008, if Jobs could go back in time he'd say:

"Why were we so stupid - we never should have done OSX on 32-bit x86 systems. If we'd waited a few more months for Merom, we could have done a true 64-bit port - so that all OSX on Intel would have been full 64-bit. Now we've got all this 32-bit baggage to carry around, and we're still working on the transition from OSx86 to OSx64 64-bit."

Hindsight is always perfect.
 

rockandrule

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2004
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Not too sure about the comment of the G5 practically being worthless. I've never sat on an Intel/Windows computer which after 2 years of heavy use works just like it is out of the box, if not quicker with the OS updates. I'm sitting here on a dual 2.0GHz bought in January of 2004 and it's still kicking the hell out of the can.
 

rosalindavenue

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Dec 13, 2003
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Seems like a pretty weasely move on IBM's part-- I'm sure they sold Steve the G5 with plenty of assurances that there would be a laptop solution. According to this guy, "IBM decided not to take the G5 into the laptop and decided to really focus its chip business on the game consoles." I wonder when Apple learned about IBM's "decision."
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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hcuar said:
I'm not sure about "compete"... My dual 1.8 at home kicks the crap out of my 2.8 Ghz P4 at work. My P4 hangs and slows like crazy. My PM gets used for some pretty heavy processing at home with no slow downs. I'm very picky about speed and I hope that the new Pentium based Macs will perform at the level of the current PPC guys.
You still are comparing a two cpu machine with a single cpu machine, The new Intels will outperform their current ppc counteparts be assured of that. Toms Hardware has a nice look at whats coming. Low power and high performance is the key for Apples future. Yonah looks very good but it successors look even better. Jobs knows this.
 

aquajet

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Feb 12, 2005
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AidenShaw said:
And in 2008, if Jobs could go back in time he'd say:

"Why were we so stupid - we never should have done OSX on 32-bit x86 systems. If we'd waited a few more months for Merom, we could have done a true 64-bit port - so that all OSX on Intel would have been full 64-bit. Now we've got all this 32-bit baggage to carry around, and we're still working on the transition from OSx86 to OSx64 64-bit."

Hindsight is always perfect.
Yeah right, a few more months...

This switch can't come soon enough. Jobs should have switched the first time.
 

rickag

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2001
153
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Or this could be corporate spin. I believe IBM did have plans to use the 970 series in servers and blades. And maybe corporate politics came into play. Didn't the semiconductor division get taken over by another division within IBM. just pondering:cool:
 

AidenShaw

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Feb 8, 2003
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Dont Hurt Me said:
You still are comparing a two cpu machine with a single cpu machine...
And comparing a standalone system at home with one on a company network, probably with remote filesystems on a busy network, with whatever apps the company decides to run.
 

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
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IBM decided not to take the G5 into the laptop and decided to really focus its chip business on the game consoles.
I wonder what time-frame this quote is referring to. Is he saying that even before Apple decided to switch to Intel IBM made this decision? Or is he just stating the obvious - now that Apple has switched to Intel, IBM dropped the G5 laptop chip.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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I have to laugh everytime I see a IBM commercial advertising blades,servers etc and everytime with Intel inside. I have never seen a IBM commercial saying hey look at this machine with our PPC in it? Heck if IBM doesnt even push its PPC why should anyone else? IBMs heart never was in G5, just as Motorolas heart was never in G4. It sure will be nice to have a cpu maker who is focused on your product( computers) and not consoles or toaster ovens & cars.
 

Studawg7

macrumors regular
May 15, 2004
213
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Cville, VA
Dont Hurt Me said:
I have to laugh everytime I see a IBM commercial advertising blades,servers etc and everytime with Intel inside. I have never seen a IBM commercial saying hey look at this machine with our PPC in it? Heck if IBM doesnt even push its PPC why should anyone else? IBMs heart never was in G5, just as Motorolas heart was never in G4. It sure will be nice to have a cpu maker who is focused on your product( computers) and not consoles or toaster ovens & cars.

well said. ibm makes more money on their joke of a consulting service, which only really trys to sell their IT equipment. ibm got out of computing (lenova or whatever that company in china is called) it makes sense they would not be interested in Apple's computers. and the article clearly states Freescales position, selling products to the automakers (which is a HUGE business for them). way to go apple for looking for a new supplier.
 

Kace

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2005
113
0
Sydney
bad move on IBM.. 5 years from now.. game consoles would be stuck at 20million or whatever a year (or life cycle)... and apple would be shipping at parity with dell...
long shot, maybe... 10 years perhaps??
once os XI comes out...
if apple do manage to pull of a digi mediacenter.. who knows maybe we would see a powerPOD... a culmination of the future PSP and PS??
----hmmm...
ibm shouldve put more money (and heart) in the g5.. they will live to regret it..
 

ogun7

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2001
187
57
Dont Hurt Me said:
G5 was a waste of time for Apple, It wont go mobile, needs a gigantic cooling solution, plus they needed two CPU's to compete with one cpu from the otherside. I bet if Jobs could go back into time there wouldnt be a G5. Apple produced a lot of spin around that G5, G5 products have all had some major teething problems. This will be a very short lived processor as Apple history go's.
Remember the problems Apple had with the previous 2 generations of iMacs overheating. The G5 never delivered for Apple's overall strategy. Unfortunately, as much as we all love PowerMacs, iBooks and PowerBooks is what keeps the computer division afloat.

If IBM couldn't deliver on the Apple's top sellers on the computer side and their chips overheat on the second best sellers, what is Uncle Steve supposed to do?
 

itsa

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2004
277
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This is either the best thing Apple has ever done or... the end of Apple Computers.
 
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