“Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it’s scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel’s microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned. Apple plans to move lower-end computers such as the Mac Mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007, sources said,” Stephen Shankland reports for CNET News.

“The announcement is expected Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, at which Chief Executive Steve Jobs is giving the keynote speech. The conference would be an appropriate venue: Changing the chips would require programmers to rewrite their software to take full advantage of the new processor,” Shankland reports. “IBM, Intel and Apple declined to comment for this story.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If true, Steve, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do! Jobs better turn the RDF up to 11 for his keynote. Hopefully, Intel has something in the “top secret room” that’s better than what they’ve currently got on the market. We can’t wait to see if Jobs allows “Intel Inside” stickers to be slapped on Macintosh cases. Note that the CNET article doesn’t state any specific type(s) of Intel processor(s) to which Apple will switch.

One very interesting aspect of all this, if it were to happen that Apple Macs use the same processors as the Wintel box assemblers, is that it would all but eliminate the “my PC is faster” argument and the real difference between Macs and Wintel PCs would be focused like a laser on what the real difference has been all along: the operating system. Obviously, to have the operating system as the main differentiator between, for example, a Dell PC running Windows or an Apple Mac running Mac OS X would highly favor Apple.

Also, would this open any doors for, say, Sony and/or HP to license and sell the “Apple Mac by HP” and/or the “Apple Mac by Sony” similarly to the “Apple iPod by HP?” Or would Apple ensure that Mac OS X would only run on Apple Macs?

Finally, with Apple less dependent on Mac hardware sales thanks to iPod, could this be the equivalent of Steve Jobs loading the “Mac OS X for x86” hydrogen bomb onto a bomber bound for Redmond? “Mac OS X for x86,” as in, buy it for $129 and load it onto your Dell or whatever instead of the stripped-down Windows XP SP3 currently code-named Longhorn? Moo.

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Intel Exec: ‘We will never give up on Apple, we covet them as a design win’ – June 03, 2005
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