Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006, all Macs to be Intel-based by end of 2007

At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007.

Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS X Tiger, running on an Intel-based Mac to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system (3.6GHz Pentium 4-based) along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “It’s been ten years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel’s technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next ten years.”

“We are thrilled to have the world’s most innovative personal computer company as a customer,” said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel in the press release. “Apple helped found the PC industry and throughout the years has been known for fresh ideas and new approaches. We look forward to providing advanced chip technologies, and to collaborating on new initiatives, to help Apple continue to deliver innovative products for years to come.”

“We plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit in the press release. “We have a strong relationship with Apple and will work closely with them to continue our long tradition of making great applications for a great platform.”

“We think this is a really smart move on Apple’s part and plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors,” said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.

The Developer Transition Kit is available starting today for $999 to all Apple Developer Connection Select and Premier members. Further information for Apple Developer Connection members is available at developer.apple.com

Intel plans to provide industry leading development tools support for Apple later this year, including the Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.

326 Comments

  1. A few of things…

    I find it amusing that Microsoft are moving to the PPC for their next generation gaming/computing and Apple is switching to Intel, I hope this isn’t bad timing on Apples part

    I would assume Apple has a better idea of where Intel will be in 2007 and what type and speed of processors will be available.

    It seems almost inevitable the last year or so has seen pitifully embarrassing processor speed bumps from IBM and Apple have been squeaking every ounce of power out of them, Steve promised and I am sure was promised form IBM 3 GHZ and it ain’t happening.

    It will be interesting to see where the X-Serves go

  2. This is the WORST KEYNOTE EVER!!!

    I’ve been told Jobs did his demo on a PENTIUM 4!!! What a MORON. Back to 32 bits now??!!!

    All of our Apple hardware resale value just took a DUMP because it’s now all LEGACY. This SUCKS.

    And for what? What is the benefit to consumers in going BACK to a freaking 32-bit Pentium 4!!!??? All the trouble of porting and buying (yet again) all new hardware because Job’s proves “IT’S NOT SLOWER”.

    Apple can kiss my *ss. They soooo lost me.

    Watch the Apple PPC dump-fest on E-Bay over the next year.

  3. Finally – for all us recently, or in the transition of switching, it’s great to see that Apple itself is “switching” to a processor company that will respect it, and develop for it.
    This is the most exciting news of the year for Mac enthusiasts – or it should be. Now the best OS in the WORLD will gain much-deserved market share. I can’t believe Microsoft showed up and said they would support it. Much as I love Windows, and I do, they must be freaking out right now. There is NO WAY they are going to be able to top this – Longhorn or not.
    And as for those who say they won’t buy Apple in the next year or so, that’s too bad. You Apple supporters helped them get to where they are today – and this is just another step in the evolution of one of the worlds greatest companies. I’ll continue buying – now, and in the future.
    THIS is exciting!

  4. Just because it’s Intel, doesn’t mean it will be any of the existing chips per se, does it? Judging from the Developer PC they are offering, it must be compatible, but it could be something unique to Apple when it finally comes out. Not that “unique” is the key point, but rather they could possibly fix some of the things that people don’t like about the Pentium chips.

  5. Obviously they will not be using a Pentium 4, since the first Mac mini with an Intel chip wount hit the market for a year – and the transition will be ‘complete’ by the end of 2007, they will undoubtedly run on the next generation chip.

    Also – how is Mac running on Intel not a ‘new product?’

    Also – Jobs says there are still ‘plenty of PPC products in the pipeline. Perhaps they are going to continue PPC – just not as the CPU for their computers. After all, that’s what the game boxes are doing.

    This seems like a logical move at this point. Consider also that Microsoft may have been planning to make Longhorn and its related technologies so as to build in greater incompatabilities between it and Apples architecture. If so, Apple was smart to move to Intel now so they can compete on a more level playing field with the Monster from Redmond.

  6. I think the Pentium is for dev’ers. Look at the time frame of release for Intel Mac’s. I would asume it won’t be Pentiums but one of the newer models. You’ll get Ghz for gamming and an Apple OS for productivity. You do know that “Altivec” is not PowerPC only. Intel has it too (different name). What if Intel has some new tricks up it’s sleve, let’s let the future tell us. Remember, Apple have almost always had a slightly slower CPU with more horsepower. Now we will have an even playing field. Let’s see what Tiger can do on the same CPU. I own a brand new iMac G5 that kicks ass. I can always do more than my PC buddies and they know it But I will wait and see what the great Apple team can do with Intell CPU’s. My CPU is 1.6 Ghz and I smoke the Pentium 4’s my buddies have (exept in gamming). Now Imagine what Apple could do with a nice 4 Ghz 64 bit chip. I will not let preconcieved notions dictate the future of my computing. If it works well then all is good. If not then?

  7. Did you guys see Joe Tanakas’ response? Perfect. I thought it was the “OS” Joe. What difference does the chip make? They haven’t even announced what chips or what the pricing is. Hahaha.

    Just what I predicted. All you macheads are bailing ship like a bunch of lemmings.

    The stench of death is upon Apple.

  8. Well, I guess I won’t be buying a new Mac anytime soon. Apple better comes up with some kick ass machines next year if they want my business a couple of years from now. And if I ever get a MacTel PC, first thing I’d do is to rip the damn Intel sticker to shreds.

    As a Mac zealot, I just hate the idea of “Intel Inside.” Damn IBM for screwing things up as well. We are loosing the “us against the world” feel factor that made the Mac so cool and exclusive.

    Anyway, my take is that the stock is going to take a hit in the short term, but will rebound eventually. Perhaps another buying opportunity? After all, it’s the OS that matters. Or perhaps I am totally wrong ,,, 🙁

  9. Question: if they’re running OS X on an (and I’m guessing) unmodified P4, what will stop Joe Blow from getting a copy of OS X on their Dell or Gateway?

  10. my predictions were right, apple did release mac on intel. i just bought my laptop 9 months ago, and it really felt sad. but like i said, softwares will still run on both powerpc and intel for about 2-3 years, by that time it will be good to purchase an upgrade. i don’t know if apple is ready for the consequence for this year, i bet macintosh sales will really be LOW…LOW…LOW. im not going to buy any mac products this year nor the year after…

  11. Ok, can someone explain something to me… He didn’t mention what chips they are using. Everyone seems to be assuming it’s the Pentium family. I know Apple was involved with IBM/Freescale to develope the G4/G5 line of chips. So are is Apple/Intel going to develop a new breed of chip based on Intels designs just for Apple? or are the going to use off the shelf designs they have now? (Kind of like the xBox 360 is using a customized G5)

  12. Ah, another great response from “Ex-Apple Customer”

    This is great. Like watching a train crash.

    Hey you can have your Apple and eat it too!

    A great day for me. Wow.

  13. This is a sad day in the history of Apple. From here the future is now full of complete uncertainty. God pray for us in the hour that Apple has turned to the dark side.

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