Speculation on the Intel switch, video iPods, and an iTunes Movie Store


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

An Ars Technica column, with what is claimed to be insider information, says that Apple's switch to Intel processors was a result more of Apple's high-handedness with IBM, and IBM's refusal to continue to acquiesce, than of the performance and roadmap issues stated publicly by Apple and disputed by IBM. Other purported reasons are an Apple interest in becoming an all-Intel shop, using Intel chips not only for Macintoshes but for iPods, and the possibility that Apple would use Intel's XScale technology, designed for high performance with low power consumption, for a video iPod.

The iPod and what it represents - an elegant, intuitively useful, and widely appealing expression of everything that Moore's Curves promise but so rarely deliver - is the "Macintosh" of the new millennium. There was no need to put on a dog and pony show about how IBM has dropped the performance ball, when what Jobs is really doing is shifting the focus of Apple from a PC-era "performance" paradigm to a post-PC-era "features and functionality" paradigm.
Technology columnist Robert Cringely comments on the Ars article and adds his own speculation that Apple timed its Intel announcement for the benefit of Intel, purposely preceding IBM's announcement of new dual core PowerPC 970MP processor.

Cringely also theorizes that Intel's investment in the ClickStar movie download site is now part of a coordinated plan with Apple to create an iTunes Movie Store. Cringely agrees with Ars that a video iPod is in the works, with the consolidation of the iPod photo into the standard iPod as a sign of that effort.

Video iPods have long been rumored, and recent events, such as the inclusion of videos in the iTunes Music Store and statements by Steve Jobs in May contribute to those rumors, especially in comparison with earlier statements by Steve Jobs.


macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2004
the video iPod is inevitable. The switch to intel is just another step towards the end product.... maybe christmas..?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2005
sounds too extreme to me. They did the switch because of the pod'? I don't believe it. I would like a video ipod though...

As long as it is released I'll be happy.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
Anyone remember that PC that fit on your belt and linked to glasses with a little projector. I see Apple making portabilty just that personal.


macrumors 68020
Aug 5, 2003
Wow! Some part of the article sounds really promising, awesome.
I'm surprised... just like I was when Steve talked about 3GHz "in one year" ;) :D ... let the fire start!! :)

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Apple plotted with Intel to give IBM a PR kick in the pants, as Cringely says, while Apple still plans to do business as usual with IBM for another year or two.


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
The evidence pointing to a video iPod is solid (of course, it's bound to happen eventually), but I only half agree with the article on the logic behind the Intel switch.

I do think there's some merit to the features vs performance theory for a couple of reasons, though:

1) Regardless of the architecture, processor speed just isn't as important to most users as it used to be. Moore's law slowdown aside, the average user just doesn't do enough to warrant anything more powerful than what was available several years ago, and doesn't care all that much. It's the other areas where the Mac has its biggest selling points.

2) IBM may or may not be behind Intel, but they're certainly not way ahead, and there's no realistic promise that they will be. Looked at from that perspective, it's a whole lot easier to sell a computer that--power wise--is just like everybody else's instead of having to start by proving the equality of your alternate architecture (and hoping that it remains competitive) before you even start selling the MacOS.

Were the PPC significantly ahead of the competition, the case would be different--"hey, look, we're WAY better!"--but it isn't, so from a marketing perspective you might as well be exactly the same instead of similar but different.

(As someone else already pointed out, though, this is relatively "old news".)


macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
Winstonp said:
sounds too extreme to me. They did the switch because of the pod'?
Yeah I don't think Apple would switch just for that reason but it could have been one of the reasons to do it. ;)


macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2004

That ars article is the lamest I've read. Looks like sour grapes by a few of the author's inside sources. I mean, who cares if Apple is difficult to deal with -- it's more difficult to order chips when IBM and Motorola fail to meet any expectations.

Where's the Powerbook G5, IBM? Where's the dual core that Intel and AMD already are shipping? The 970 debuted years ago at 2 GHZ, and in 2005 we're still with the 970 and it's only at 2.7?

If the ars author really had insider information, wouldn't there be a bit more solid information about what's going to happen in the short term regarding powermacs -- or is his information not privy to higher level plans?



macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
oskar said:
Not another rumor that develops into an iPod video rumor... :(
Well it is about time for a Video iPod to be released and everything is ready for one to come out tomorrow so why not start the rumors now?


macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2005
Rockford MI
realityisterror said:
a vidPod would be pretty cool, but I still don't see the usefulness... :confused:
Same here but I think the iTunes Movie Store is going to be a big selling point. But no matter what comes out I know I am going to have to get it :eek:


macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2004
Essex, United Kingdom
Doesn't make sense to me.

The chips used in the existing iPods are capable of doing video, as has been proved by the iPodLinux team. So why the need to switch to intel? There has to be a better reason than this.


macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2005
Houston, Texas
I don't want a video iPod. I listen to music every day when I walk to school using my iPod, but I wouldn't watch movies on it, even if I could.

I use my powerbook to watch movies when I'm traveling.

I use my iPod to store music and play it wirelessly to my stereo with my airport express/iTunes, but somehow I don't see myself doing this with video any time soon.

I'd personally rather have a cheaper, smaller, higher capacity iPod than a video pod. I wish they would give the original iPod some new features like the ability to play music wirelessly to an airport express without the need for a computer and iTunes. Now that would be cool.


macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2002
Doctor Q said:
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Apple plotted with Intel to give IBM a PR kick in the pants, as Cringely says, while Apple still plans to do business as usual with IBM for another year or two.
I agree. The timing was simply because that's when the WWDC was, and Apple needs developer support. The IBM chips aren't even shipping yet and already aren't that impressive, so I don't think Apple cared one way or the other about IBM's announcements. In fact, the only reason IBM probably felt comfortable pre-announcing them NOW instead of after they're released in a Mac is because they don't care about acquiescing to Jobs' demands anymore. (Remember when pre-announcing a PowerPC chip before it appeared in a Macintosh was Considered Bad Form?)


macrumors member
Dec 20, 2003
I read that column when it first came out. In my opinion it is complete and utter tripe, with absolutely no factual basis. When the author was called on it in the article discussion thread, his responses were pompous and along the lines of, "Well, you're not in the industry and you don't understand what's going on."

Don't panic

macrumors 603
Jan 30, 2004
having a drink at Milliways
small video player (ipod or not) will of course happen at some point and some off them will of course be cool. but even when they arrive, the majority of people will use their videopods mainly to listen to their music anyways.


macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2005
Cringley says " I wonder if Apple even intends to go forward with the changeover?

That's taking it a bit far! It'd be suicide for relations with developers to throw that at them and then say, oh, we changed our minds!


macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
The iPod angle is bizarre. Apple don't buy the CPUs from TI, that's where their supplier has them made. Unless Apple are going to make drastic changes and take iPod hardware design in house, this isn't happening.


macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
Los Angeles
Video iPod as a playback device more than a viewing device?

I mean, you get movies from the iTunes Movie store in h.264 (which we all know is proc intensive), xfer them to yer Video iPod, then walk over to yer TV, hook it up via the dock and watch the movie in your living room.

Seems like a good idea to me.


Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
In yesterday's column, Robert Cringely claims to disagree with the Ars Technica writer (whose story was posted Sunday), but he doesn't really contradict what the article says, instead adding his own impressions of Apple's motives and plans.

There are plenty of reasons that Apple, Intel, and IBM might each have multiple goals that conflict with each other as they position themselves in their intersecting businesses.