Had Apple not switched from PPC to Intel...

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by queshy, Dec 2, 2007.


Had Apple not switched from PPC to Intel processors, how successful would they be?

  1. More successful than they are today.

    2 vote(s)
  2. Equally as successful as they are today.

    9 vote(s)
  3. Not as successful as they are today.

    120 vote(s)
  4. Not sure/undecided.

    4 vote(s)
  1. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    how successful would they be? (see poll).

    Edit: assume they remained with PPC chips and did not switch to AMD, or whatever.
  2. mcnees287 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2007
    You know the answer to this question already.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    It was a very good decision to switch to intel. At the very least, it earned Apple a lot of free publicity.
  4. queshy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Not really. PPC processors were still good, and if apple has then in their new macbooks and macbook pros with all the other features that are in them now, I still think they'd be pretty successful (they'd have the iPhone, etc.). For MR people, it did, but a lot of consumers don't care about the type of processor the computer uses, so it's a toss up.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I think a lot of new users came on board due to the x86 compatibility (ie. Boot Camp and VMware) rather than the actual brand of the chip itself.
  6. Loge macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    Well that was the problem, there was no replacement in sight for the G4 in the Powerbook; even the G5 iMacs were struggling with heat issues and that was just a single core.
  7. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    One main benefit of having intel is the ability to really run windows. A lot of people feel more comfortable buying a computer knowing that they can use windows if need be. This is shown in the market share and sales of Apple.
  8. skuzzy macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    Cape Town, SA
    There was two reasons why Apple switched to Intel. The first was because there was no guaranteed development on the PPC chips. We can see today with the new Intel chips that there is a new one coming out almost every 6 months. The second was the cost. They simply wanted too much for the chip that they were selling, Intel made them a deal that they just could not refuse. A faster and more developed chip for much less.
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    No, the PPC processors were pretty much out of life at the time the Intel switch came about. What would the notebooks have gotten if it wasn't for Intel? Remember that the G5 Powerbook never materialized?

    Also, the point about consumers not caring is a tad untrue. I remember that during the PPC days, many people would look at the CPU speed and think that Macs were "twice as slow." This was usually because a G4 @ 1.33GHZ seemed to be slower than an Intel/AMD @ 2.6+GHZ. Even though this wasn't accurate, it created a mental block for a lot of people. Intel gives people a level comparison, which makes Macs look much more competitive.
  10. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    We'd still be stuck with slow Macs. The change to Intel wasn't a choice or key decision, it was inevitable. It had to be done to progress Apple's hardware.
  11. Alloye macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2007
    Rocklin, CA
    Switching to Intel was absolutely the right thing to do.
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    it helped level the playing field for apple imo. and was one of the best decisions they've made. its certainly one of the causes for their sales going higher.
  13. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    old apple (that many including myself would never switch too) + Intel + unix based OS = new apple (that myself and many I work with have switched too)
  14. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Intel-move was great, in hindsight. I hated it when it came, but it was inevitable. Now equally great would be if IBM released new killer PPC chips and Apple sold them as an alternative for some of us who would like to buy :)
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  16. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Not true. The main issue seems to be the Power architecture evolved into a much higher end than what the desktop market is. The Power6 was way more powerful than anything desktops could offer but that's the issue; even though Power evolved into big iron hardware the slower iterations of Power (G5) were lacking in speed.

    Power6 has been around for a while and when it debuted its capability for instructions per second totally beat out any desktop processor. It's possible they're working on the next gen Power7.

    Alas, reality set in and most people realized Power was not to be a desktop processor any more than a bank of Cray processor boards would be.

    FurnaceBook anyone?! :D
  17. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    If PPC had been better developed, it would have been awesome. It wasn't. Intel came out with some good chips based more on the P3 than the P4, and did some cool stuff with dual cores. Plus, as mentioned, now you can run Windows if you have to, meaning I can get rid of my PC, and convince others too as well.
  18. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    I think they would have been just as successful. Most people don't care about the type of chip in it (to most people, a processor is "the pentium bit"). To most people, perceived performance is more important than actual performance. A slow chip that seems fast will be chosen by the average consumer over the the faster chip that seems slow. This is the beauty of Mac OS X - it gets faster on the same hardware (assuming the hardware isn't the minimum supported, etc).

    Most people buy the Mac for iLife, iWork (although to a lesser extent), etc; not for the chips. When spouting about how good my Mac is, I always mention the ability to run Windows as a 'just-in-case' feature - a feature that sounds good, but when it comes to actually using it, no-one actually does. I realize that some people will use it, but I would say about 90% dont.

    And lets face it, looking at history, Apple will switch again in 2015 or 2016 (although in reality, if Intel keep up their speed advantage, I can see Apple staying with them indefinatley. As long as they don't do another NetBurst :p)
  19. iPhil macrumors 68040


    I own a hat that almost says what you said..

    Expect More <on the front ... on the back: Intel

    PPC chips were getting stagnate.. Intel has more cpu cycles per watt and less heat than the PPC chips.. :eek:
  20. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2004

    There is something about the PPC.

    I think Apple would be in a slightly weaker position, but only slightly. The free publicity did good, the idea for Switchers to run XP natively was always going to help people on the fence buy Macs.

    I had a PM G5 and sold it for the Mac Pro. I still get a rush when I hear / see a PM G5. I honestly feel the build quality was higher on the PM.

    Only last week I bought a 12 PB G4. Can you believe it runs Leopard?! Get a four year-old Dell to run Vista...

    To all you PPC owners - there is PLENTY of life in those G4's.

  21. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    The transition was good, but it made a lot of people go to a PC notebook, as the iBook G4 was long in the tooth by the end...

    Also, the hardware problems (Macbook shutdown mainly) have been bad...
  22. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    One of my friends bought a iBook G4 right before the macbook was released, but he didn't care as it was so cheap, weren't they like £399 in the end?

    I'd still quite like a 12inch iBook G4 tbh :(

    Anyway enough waffling, I definitely think Apple would be crashing right now if they'd stuck with PPC.
  23. olliebraves20 macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2007
    Lansing, MI
    Do you remember how many "experts" predicted Apple's demise when they announced they were moving to the Intel chips?? Wow how wrong they were....

    I think it was a great move on Apples part....I work at best buy one day a week for the discount...I sell a ton of Apples and the huge thing that gets everyone is the safety net called "Windows XP"....little do they know that in a few months time they usually come back and want to get rid of the windows partition.....
  24. ClassicMac247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    would have been the same, apple will always be the best in our eyes! It was good free publicity though:)
  25. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Not as successful. Switching to Intel was one of Apples best moves, especially given the much more frequent release of CPUs and chipsets from Intel.

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