Intel CEO Responds to Rumors of ARM-Based Macs, Says Relationship With Apple Is 'Strong'

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich appeared today on CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about the financial future of the technology company. Following discussions about Intel's disappointing Q1 forecast and flat PC sales, CNBC anchor Betsy Quick questioned the executive about rumors that Apple may eventually drop Intel chips from its Mac computers in favor of its own processors.

Unfazed by the questioning, Krzanich toed the company line, revealing no new information about the future of Intel's relationship with Apple and simply calling it a "strong" one.
I just hear the same rumors. Our relationship with Apple is strong and their products are great. Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability in innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate. They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability give them that, that are better than our competitors. And then they want to use our parts. So I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers -- we have to provide the most competitive part: performance, price, reliability, all of those.

In his latest report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered the prediction that Apple may launch ARM-based Macs in the next few years. In this scenario, Apple would replace the Intel chips it currently uses with custom designed A-series chip, allowing the company to better time processor upgrades with new product launches. Apple last year was forced to delay major product launches across its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, offering only minor processor bumps due to delays in Intel's Broadwell processors.

Rumors of Apple's interest in ARM-based Macs are not new, with earlier reports suggesting Apple has developed ARM-Based prototypes of the iMac, Mac Mini, and a 13-inch notebook model. If the rumor pans out this time, the switchover to ARM processor would initially target low-end machines that would benefit from the low battery consumption of the ARM-based architecture. Future expansion may be possible as improvements in Apple's A-series processor begin to rival the performance of Intel's entry-level offerings.

Article Link: Intel CEO Responds to Rumors of ARM-Based Macs, Says Relationship With Apple Is 'Strong'
 
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macintologist

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2004
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You need Flash enabled for the video to play. No thanks, can someone TL;DW the video?

Edit: Nevermind, Adblock was blocking the pre-roll ad.
 
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vmachiel

macrumors 68000
Feb 15, 2011
1,745
1,298
Holland
Good. I don't want ARM in my machine. I want to virtualize, don't want to wait for all new apps (that often never come). O yeah, and ARM is good with power? Only Intel can fab at 14 nm and you can bet they are going to be the first to the next node as well.
 

GalileoSeven

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2015
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Count me as one who will have bought his last Mac if this goes through (which, given the complexities of recompiling so much software, seems highly unlikely).......
 

mozumder

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2009
905
2,527
ARM Macs better come soon because we need cheaper MacBook Airs that are around $500-$700. Broadwell-U CPUs from Intel are around $250-$400, and that's not going to cut it for a $500 Macbook Air price point. The CPUs need to be around $50-$100 to hit that price. We could also use a $300 Mac Mini as a small office server, in which an ARM cpu would work well.

intel should be scared. Apple is already at speed parity for the low-end CPUs, and by the time the A10x rolls around, they'll be as fast as Intel's top CPUs.

Apple's ARM A8x cpus are as in the same ballpark speeds as any 10-watt Broadwell CPU. And, given a higher power budget, they could easily go 2-3x faster, putting them in ludicrous speeds. A fully configured 10-core version for a Mac Mini server could even be 10x faster, and wouldn't cost any more than the A8x if they took out the GPU.

Just ship ARM, and have all the vendors just recompile their OS X apps for ARM. No one needs Windows compatibility (I don't know any Mac owner that uses Windows) and the .25% of Mac users that do can go buy an Intel Mac.
 

X38

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2007
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Outside the low end consumer market, the ability to dual boot Windows is the vital selling point for Macs that enabled their recovery in the enterprise market since the PPC switch. ARM can't do that, so it will remain a non-starter for anything other than the bottom end of the market, for which leading edge CPU development is not relevant.
 

zubikov

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2014
129
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Jobs Biography

If you've read the Jobs' biography, you know there's no way they're making that mistake again. The benefits of full control and cost cutting are small. Apple wouldn't want to alienate developers again. Intel does the r&d, drive the chip market and sells them at a relatively cheap unit cost. Apple has much bigger problems on their hands than their desktop/laptop processors.
 

teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
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"performance, price, reliability, all of those."

does that 'reliability' part include completion and release of new chips?
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
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Good to hear. When Apple drops Intel, I will most likely have to drop Macs. That would break compatibility with so many OS X apps (and developers would take a great amount of time to recode their apps, assuming they did at all) and it would break Windows compatibility. As much as I like OS X, I occasionally need to use Windows.
 

Cloudsurfer

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2007
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Netherlands
Ofcourse Intel is going to say that. Apple is their customer. Did you expect Intel to say, yeah screw them and their A-chips?

This article taught us nothing.
 

Iconoclysm

macrumors 68020
May 13, 2010
2,414
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Washington, DC
Good. I don't want ARM in my machine. I want to virtualize, don't want to wait for all new apps (that often never come). O yeah, and ARM is good with power? Only Intel can fab at 14 nm and you can bet they are going to be the first to the next node as well.
Why are you under the impression that ARM cannot virtualize?
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,574
2,909
OSX is a nice OS for me, but I need Windows for work. Should Intel be dropped, or Bootcamp somehow unusable, I'll have to go back to a Windows system.
 

shrivatsasomany

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2015
5
0
The general absurdity of this "prediction" just astounds me. As far as Apple analysis is concerned, this Ming-Chi Kuo seems to be more of a professional pasta thrower than an analyst.

UNLESS Apple or ARM make their own x86-64 instruction set, or something 100% compatible (anyone who knows about instruction sets is already beginning to chortle at "compatible"), Intel/AMD chipsets will remain. What I mean by AMD is that IF Apple does drop Intel, they'll go with AMD for their Mac's. ARM? Not in their current form. Perhaps a hybrid new product like the Surface RT perhaps.

Now let me push the envelope even further, but if OSX were to transition to ARM, it would take AGES to do so. Well beyond the life of their Mac lineup in its current form. I can't stress that current form idea enough. It may be very possible that Apple has basically cracked the next big revolution in desktop/laptop, pointer based navigation devices, and they may use ARM chips.

Either way, as if anytime soon, NO. Besides, given enough power, those ARM instruction sets aren't nearly as fast as Intel.
 

X38

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2007
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... No one needs Windows compatibility (I don't know any Mac owner that uses Windows) and the .25% of Mac users that do can go buy an Intel Mac.
I do, as do many of my coworkers. It is a vital feature that makes a huge difference for me. Your post is ignorant, irrelevent, and incorrect, so it is fortunate that your opinion has no influence on Apple's decision making.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,465
1,295
The Village
I hope we're smart enough not to say "Apple will never do ______".

I'm sure that Apple has a lab with OS X running on ARM, and any other processor out there - just to see how performance is impacted and how it affects various products.

Given that, will Apple do it? Who knows. One would like to think they learned from the Surface debacle (not to run two processor versions), but it's not out of the realm of possibility - especially if they're considering a new product category - maybe going back to a Consumer/Pro model.

I could even see them expiramenting with duel processors - ARM for low powered tasks and Intel for high powered tasks, possibly in a Powerbook Duo type of product.

In the end, Apple's going to go with what makes them the most money and is right for the largest portion of their audience. And there will be happy people and angry people.
 

shrivatsasomany

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2015
5
0
Just ship ARM, and have all the vendors just recompile their OS X apps for ARM. No one needs Windows compatibility (I don't know any Mac owner that uses Windows) and the .25% of Mac users that do can go buy an Intel Mac.
I hope you realize it isn't as simple as Adobe running gcc Photoshop.c Photoshop. Most, if not EVERY app uses a host of different open source libraries that will have to be recompiled to support ARM instruction sets. Some of these vendors use thousands of such libraries. OSX itself uses a lot of these libraries. There may be some that are easily recompilable, sure. But there are others that perhaps they depend on, and some those depend on further (and so on) that need to be rewritten perhaps.

This is a transition that'll only happen when there's a completely new product in the works.
 

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2007
1,251
1,071
Left Coast
Good. I don't want ARM in my machine. I want to virtualize, don't want to wait for all new apps (that often never come). O yeah, and ARM is good with power? Only Intel can fab at 14 nm and you can bet they are going to be the first to the next node as well.
Can the millions of us that use Macs as Macs chip in a little money to buy a PC for that minority of people that want us to hold up progress... all so that they can use their Mac to game :p
 
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