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. Will OSX still rock?

    you’d think that q would have been answered when SJ told everyone the very Mac he was using during the Keynote had a 3.6Ghz Intel chip inside..

    *ahem

  2. Who would buy an Apple computer now?

    Can you imagine trying to convince a PC owner to switch?
    “But isn´t Apple going to use the same computer chip as my Windows computer?”

    Now we know why there has been no advertising.
    Jobs has to save every penny to see if he can survive the next 3 years….

  3. Wow, lots of hand-wringing going on. Really ridiculous. Hey folks, give Jobs et al. a little credit – they’ve been planning this coup for five years (every OS X ever has run on Intel). You think they’re not looking ahead? You really think they’re banking on the future of the Pentium and not dual-core Opterons or some other hot new Intel architecture? Come on. Apple has seen Intel’s roadmap for the next five years at least. They know what’s coming, and apparently they think it looks pretty good.

    “Oh no, Apple’s lost my business.” Sheesh. You’d think Apple was about to start shipping Windows boxes with Apple logos on ’em. I’m quite sure that Macs will continue to be Macs, with tight hardware specs and running OS X. Do I care what CPU is inside? No. I just want it to be fast and efficient. What I care about is OS X, Apple apps, and full hardware integrity and support. How do Intel CPUs change any of this?

    Apple will no doubt build Macs in such a way that only Macs can run OS X. These will not be generic Intel boxes. On the other hand, the presence of an Intel CPU might enable them to also run Windows natively. Think about the implications for market penetration. How may consumers and enterprises would love to have a single box that would run OS X and Windows natively at full speed? And gamers – hello? Apple could be the world’s only vendor of a truly OS-agnostic box.

    Apple has neatly sidestepped the software-porting issue with Rosetta and Xcode 2.1. Who knows what other tricks they have up their sleeves? One thing is sure – this transition has been carefully planned for years. It it not a last-gasp desperation measure forced by IBM’s recalcitrance. Rather, it is likely just one the start of a series of judo moves Apple has planned to turn the whole computing world on its head. I, for one, am very, very intrigued.

  4. Hello? Are we not seeing the irony here? Intel finally gets to crawl out from under Bill’s thumb! It’s great news for Intel. And it’s a unique challenge for Apple and Intel to push the Mac OS X platform to new heights.

  5. I guess that the Amiga (PowerPC Inside) will become my computing future. Maybe I’ll start programming again and help Amiga go forward.

    Come on, anybody with me???

  6. Why, if the final architecture is NOT Pentium 4 32-bit, would Apple be handing out OS X development kits for Pentium 4 x86 with the marching orders to “make it all work on a Pentium 4.”??

    If next year’s Macs used a different, BETTER x64/PPC architecture, wouldn’t it be pointless in handing out P4, 32bit development kits?

    The silence of a better alternative leaves me to believe that they’re going to slap in some crappy P4’s.

    This is Apple’s worst day.

  7. OK…

    I understand that Jobs is angry at IBM and is moving to Intel.

    I understand that OS X rus on Intel already (not suprising since OS X is NeXT Step which ran on Intel)

    What I don’t understand is that this is unlike Jobs. He is very secretive. He does not make hardware announcement this far in advance.

    I was surprised that he just kept everything in limbo, announced some new Airport Express 2 and mentioned nothing about Intel until next year when it was ready to be shipped.

  8. I agree – the Intel Macs won’t be able to run windows and windows machines won’t be able to run OS X.

    The biggest issue as far as I see is how this news will affect current sales. Apple needs to make it clear that macs bought in the last few years will be support by both the OS and third party apps.

  9. Majikthize – its not that Intel´s roadmap looks so good, it is that IBMs looks so bad.
    About a year or so ago Jobs saw the sh*t hit the fan as far as the future of IBM making chips for Apple.
    It was broke and would not be fixed.
    Where else could Jobs go???
    If the IBM thin would have worked out we would have been seeing 4Ghz processors in Macs today. But it totally flopped.
    Jobs had no choice but to go INtel.
    He is now spinning it like it was a match made in heaven waiting to happen.
    B.S.

  10. Jon: this is not the issue. Intel has 64-bit chips, evolving on the PentiumD 64-bit ones. The issue is the loyal Mac user base that will most probably betrayed and indeed the fact that next year Macs will most probably be superior to todays G5s, hence the risk of seeing Mac sales drop considerably.

    We have at the lab our sw run on the G5, on Pentium and AMD with Linux.
    The G5 rocks today but if IBM roadmap tells Apple that in 2 years this will not be the case and that IBM will not be able to keep up (unfortunately everyone here have been screaming for the promised never realized 3.0 GHz G5) with evolving into the G6 – especially not able to deliver a laptop with those – Apple must have been between a rock and a hard place.

    If what SJ says is true (at best 15 vs 70 in computational units per Watt in two years) he might have saved Apple from death a second time. They have been quite good at keeping secret the quagmire IBM must have been in the last year.

    Anyway, do not expect to be able to get OS X on a Dell, even if they have the same chip: the open firmware will be different and you will still HAVE TO buy an Apple computer if you want to run Leopard.

  11. What a lousy keynote.

    Other than the Intel bad news. What else have they announced that’s new or improved in hardware or software?

    iTunes podcasting. Big freaking deal.

    Linux is looking better & better.

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