How Long will Apple Support Power PC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ccroo, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. ccroo macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2004
    Does anyone know when Apple will shut down Power PC Support the way they shut down Classic support?

  2. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    I would say that PowerPC processors will probably not work on the OS after Leopard, but anything is possible... :D
  3. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    since it took about 5 years after the introduction of OS 10 for Apple to drop Classic support, then maybe you could expect the same for PPC support

    but of course nobody really knows, and probably even apple hasn't decided
  4. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    G5s until at least 3 years after the PowerMac is replaced, most likely longer as Pro machines keep their usefulness a lot longer. If they are replaced at WWDC those with AppleCare will need support through to late 2009.

    G4s for at least another three years or more. The PowerBook was still on sale at the beginning of this year, they were Pro machines and those with AppleCare will be covered through to the beginning of 2009.

    OSX will be totally Universal with 10.5, theoretically they could support PPC forever, or even move back if this whole dalliance with Intel doesn't work out (yah right).

    You have to remember that the overwhelming majority of Macs in use in the market today are PPC based so isolating them too early isn't a good business decision, waiting too long and people won't buy new Macs. There has to be a balance.

    I think 10.5 is going to do away with support for the G3 processor a la iLife '06, 10.6 could require a fast G4 whilst 10.7 will be G5 and Intel only. 10.8 could be the first Intel-only version of OSX. That's if we go to 10.8 of course. Apple may decide to move on to OS XI and dump PPCs altogether around about 2010.

    So to answer your question, I don't know. :)
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    They're still selling PowerPC Macs. I expect the next OS — not version of OSX — to not support PPC. I give it about 5 years or so.
  6. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Well, consider that there is STILL no Mac Pro... i.e. Apple's flagship most powerful desktop is STILL A PPC!! I hardly imagine that they'd stop support before their flagship pro gear has even gone Intel. Let's say, it'll happen by fall of this year. Then consider that you'd still have altogether 3 years of AppleCare after the last PPC was sold by Apple. That means minimum end of 2009. And consider that many applications which are vital to Apple have still not become UB, and are stuck in PPC land, with multi-year timing on when they finally transition. Hardly a time for Apple to abandon support for the PPC platform, with their AppleCare obligations and major apps not even transitioned to Intel. Further, consider that it'll take quite some time for the INSTALL BASE of macs to become majority Intel based... a very long time, I bet... I'd guess that at this point, no more than 10%-15% are Intel... how long do you think it'll take before more than 50% are Intel? It takes some 3-4 years before the *average* person replaces their computer... AGAIN putting us in the 2009-2010 timeframe. Bottom line, I think it's highly probable that Apple will support the PPC platform until at least 2010. All IMHO, of course :).
  7. Lollypop macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2004
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    I think apple will start ending support for PPC by 2008/9 in the mac os, but i dont think they will stop developing PPC software that soon, if the processor is capable I dont think it should be to hard to create a universal binary for those capable intel or PPC systems.
  8. ccroo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2004
    Universal more work than straight Intel Code?

    Is the Universal binary code essentially double work?
  9. Lollypop macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2004
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    according to apples PR its not, but thats on application level, I think on a lower OS level there is a level of work involved to maintain a port for a different processor.
  10. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Say when Leopard is released next year and I get a Leopard DVD with my new Intel Mac, can I put that DVD into an old PPC Mac and have it work?
  11. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Of course not like every Mac out there it will be restore media for your machine.
  12. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    First of all, the DVDs that come with Intel Macs are usually Intel only and second, that's against every TOS agreement you will ever read.
  13. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    But what about lazy developers only making an intel version of thier software.:rolleyes:
  14. Lollypop macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2004
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    If the Apple PR is correct then high level software shouldnt have a reason to be intel only, simply writing the software and compiling it as usual will result in a UB, making a intel only version will either require some intel only code, or the developer specifically spesifying that they only want a intel version.
  15. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    To be honest, I think they'll support PPCs for a good long while, as they've done with every previous generation.

    My G3 iMac 350 is still officially supported in Tiger, as it has built in FireWire. And it runs fine, too. That machine is 8 years old.

    Leopard probably will want the same - the way OS X has progressed, 10.5 and 10.6 will probably be the same, then 10.7 would be USB 2.0 built in..

    PPC versions of Leopard will be sold on and in the stores.

    For a long time.

    If Classic is supported until Leopard comes out to replace Tiger, then I think we can be happy in the knowledge that the PPCs will be supported until the end of the decade (and probably further) at least.
  16. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I think the customer will give up on PPC long before Apple. It will be like comparing a G5 to a 68040 in the next 5 years. Perhaps minimum specs will require a G5 as a signal to you that it is getting phased out. Just like G3's with iLife.
  17. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    That seems to be a reasonable way to calculate how long Apple will support PowerPC based Macs/Apps. :)
  18. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I expect that as soon as the PowerMac goes Intel, Apple will stop production on PowerPC systems and keep selling them while supplies last. Once they run more PowerPC systems will be produced.

    I expect that the next OS after Leopard will not run on PowerPC processors, so as to fully take advantage of the Intel processors and so Apple won't have to pump extra R&D into making it run on PowerPC's equally well. Still, software developers (including Apple) won't stop supporting PowerPC processors until they stop supporting Leopard, which probably won't be until well into 2009, minimum.
  19. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Considering my G3 B/W (bought in 1999) runs Tiger with no problems (a little slow). Then I would imagine that PowerPC support will finally be impossible by 2010.

    I think PowerPC's will be covered fine by Apple for a while.
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I think it depends on what you mean by "support."

    Once the mac pros are announced, apple will sell off remaining PPC stock and that's it except for refurb sales for a little while.

    Some PPC macs will be covered by applecare until late 2009. I'd imagine apple would do out-of-pocket repairs on PPC macs for some years after that.

    In terms of OS, I think we'll see Leopard by early 2007, and 10.6 by mid-late 2009. Given that some G5s could still be in warranty at that time, I think that 10.6 will run on PPC. IMO 10.7 will be the first intel-only OS, and that will probably be 2010 or 2011.

    As far as apps go, I think apple will make PPC versions until PPC macs can't run them any more, either because the system requirements exceed even a quad G5 or because the app requires a version of the OS that won't run.
  21. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    I say 10.6 will be the last OS to support PPC. The reason I believe this is apple seems to have a history of dropping support for older things. The biggest one I am drawing off of is there OS.

    When 10.4 came out all major support for 10.3 was drop. They did not release any nes software that supported it any more. Apple seems to have a history of dropping support for there older stuff.

    Supporting the G3 for so long was easy since it was still a PPC set up. But since intel is x86 it another story. x86 and PPC are very differint archtechures.
    But that just me
  22. sk1985 macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2006
    Most macs with later model G5's will be able to run the latest in OS's for a long time (G4 support most likely will be dropped with OSXI). Seriously most Dual processors G5 configurations are about even with current Dual Core line up. Just in terms of power I could see apple support most Dual G5s for a while.
  23. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    Well, yeah, but so do all companies. Didn't MS just drop support for all pre-Windows-XP software (e.g., Windows Me, windows98, etc.)?

    At some point they'll drop support, but it will probably be at least a couple of major revisions off. Of course, running the new OS on hte oldest machine may not give you the experienie you want.
  24. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    It's not Apple that you need to worry about. You should be asking how long your favorite software developers are going to support PPC! Soon as they realize that they can save resources by porting to intel only, then you begin to lose your software support. However, that being said, a good indicator would be to look at how long it took Apple to transistion to PPC. I think it took about 5 years from the date of the final pre-PPC machine to kill off the line. Some of you may remember those 'ol fat-binary days. That was when I bought my first Mac. A PPC 6100AV running system7 that cost me over $4K with a 17" monitor! It was the same year that Photoshop introduced layers and RAM was around $50 per MB on a good day.
  25. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    they may "save resources" but they'll also lose a captive market that's waiting to buy the newest version of their software. There are plenty of profits to be made by selling software to exisiting PPC customers and that will keep the important software developers active for some time yet

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