Can iPod revenue allow Apple to release Mac OS X on X86?

“iPod success paves the way for Mac OS X on X86. People have argued for years for and against the release of Mac OS X on Intel (and AMD) commodity hardware, but Apple derives such a large portion of its revenue from hardware that doing so could potentially damage the company beyond repair,” SteveJack writes in today’s MacDailyNews Opinion section. “But, what if Apple replaces that lost Mac hardware revenue with iPod revenue?”

SteveJack writes, “Steve Jobs would then be free to drop what amounts to a hydrogen bomb on Microsoft. Mac OS X that runs on ‘regular’ off-the-shelf x86 hardware… Years before ‘Longhorn’ even comes close to shipping. Moo.”

SteveJack explains further in his full article, “iPod success opens door to Mac OS X on Intel,” in our MacDailyNews Opinion section – click here.


  1. It would definitely hurt Apple’s sales in the beginning, after all, Apple doesn’t make money off of software – their approach to business is exactly what’s seen in the iPod/iTunes connection. iTunes loses them money (the software), whereas the iPod sales makes them money (the hardware). But I suppose since Longhorn’s taking such a long time, enough people might switch OS’ and Apple could potentially see a profit.

  2. I truly can’t see any downside to offering a great operating system to the masses. Even with a 10% market share they would outsell their hardware segment with little variable costs. Do it Apple and watch your stock go to $100/share. Somebody please give me a good reason why they should not do this.

  3. I think this thinking is flawed. I don’t believe that the iPod will maintain its lead forever. Digital music players will eventually become like walkmans. Cheap and massively produced. And how much larger a harddrive do we need in the iPod? I’ve got a 30GB and I have only filled it up half way. Solid state music players are the future. I think the success of the iPod is only for another 2 or 3 years.

    As far as running OS X on another platform. I just don’t see it being viable to Apple at all. Most people don’t upgrade their OS’s. They use what comes with the system they purchase. And in order to get pre-installed, Apple would have to sell OS X at extremely discounted prices to the hardware vendores in order to compete with Windows.

    No just stick with what they are doing now. If you want OS X, get an Apple. If you are running Windows and it keeps getting viruses or keeps crashing and you bitch because Apple doesn’t provide OS X on the x86 platform, tough.

  4. This would be a terrible idea that would kill all Apple hardware sales. Who would want to spend more money on good looking, well engineered hardware when they could get a stable, virus-free OS on cheaper machines?

  5. I dunno, I think they could do it and still sell hardware (I won’t buy dell or hp or any other crap hardware), but I’m just not sure about some x86 issues. Wouldn’t they run into the same problem microsoft has with device drivers and stuff? or does OS X handle devices and system components in some fundamentally better way? (I’m just not sure, never looked into it)

  6. wouldn’t porting OS X to intel create some of the same problems for apple that microsoft has? Namely, making the operating system able to work on thousands of hardware permutations. wouldn’t that cripple the operating system? am I wrong?

  7. All it would take is something on the quality scale of a low end eMachine on HP bargain system, some bad video drivers and a few benchmarks from Windows fan sites to convince people Apple was irrelevant. The Jobs mantra that Apple is the only company who currently makes the “whole widget” is important, and OS X on a Celeron with low end integrated graphics and sound from Sis, some no name WinModem and cheap speakers would feel like a bad Linux box at best.

    The real point here is that iTunes ahd iPod are turning new users on to Apple quality. The answer now is to keep that direction up, not surrender to a desperate tactic of giving OS X to commodity hardware vendors. Imagine some M4d l33T h4x0r$ filling web sites with tales of woe because they can’t get game X running on video card Y and it’s all because Apple suxors. Stay the course, keep improving the hardware and showing consumers that there is more to computing than eMachines fit and finish and Windows patches and worms.

  8. Bob670 is right on the money: “The answer now is to keep that direction up, not surrender to a desperate tactic of giving OS X to commodity hardware vendors.”

    I do not believe Apple can lead the industry if it becomes a follower. Apple really needs to stay the course and continue to be the leader–even through the tough times.

  9. This will not happen anytime soon if ever. These rumors and speculation keep cropping up from time to time now for the past decade or more. Once Apple partnered with IBM on the next generation PPC chips, any chance to going with Intel died with it.

  10. SteveJack…you are a prag.

    Change careers, I here the Apple store in SF is hiring security gaurds. Your articles are puerile and pointless.

    I think you are an awful writer who always misses the point. Man…

    Steve…grow up moron.

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