Dvorak: ‘Apple should be stronger, but Mac mystique will wane’ in wake of Intel switch

Apple Computer’s move from PowerPC to Intel processors was a necessity, according to John Dvorak. Dvorak writes or PC Magazine, “This is the future of Apple if it’s going to survive as a computer maker.”

“In the short term, the problem for Apple is not to kill its sales during the transitional market. In other words, what happens to the left-over PowerPC machines? The company got through this once before when it switched from the 68000 to the PowerPC. It did it with add-on cards, specifically the Power Macintosh Upgrade card. So I expect a similar product this time. Still, this process is going to be bumpy, but with iPod and iTunes mania propping up the company, this is the exact right time to do this. The company can weather any storms in the process,” Dvorak writes. “When it comes out the other end Apple should be stronger, although some of the Mac mystique will wane. Personally I think that will be the biggest benefit. And so much for the supposed superiority of the PowerPC.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Mac’s mystique has very little to do with the processor, as the switch from the 68000 to the PowerPC proved. The Mac’s mystique is the Mac operating system, which, if anything, grew stronger after transitioning from the Classic Mac OS to Mac OS X. That’s what these people will never be able to grasp, it seems; it’s not pretty cases or exotic processors, it’s the OS, stupid. But, you have to really use one to understand.

“More than even the processor, more than even the hardware innovations that we bring to the market, the soul of a Mac is its operating system and we’re not standing still.” – Steve Jobs, WWDC 2005 Keynote, June 6, 2005

Related MacDailyNews articles:
AP: Apple ‘more trouble than it was worth’ for IBM; Intel move to have ‘indiscernible impact’ on IBM – June 06, 2005
Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006, all Macs to be Intel-based by end of 2007 – June 06, 2005
Forbes: Apple’s move to Intel could ‘drive loyal customers away from Mac platform’ – June 06, 2005
Analyst firm: ‘Apple not a critical customer for IBM’ – June 06, 2005


  1. i think this is going to make a lot of people realize that the mystique is not in the processor, it is in the operating system and the industrial design of the container. people are going to start asking microsoft why they can’t build operating systems as well as apple, after all, they are running on the same machines. and people are going to start wondering why dell, et al. can’t build better looking and more reliable computers, after all, apple can do it with the same processor, drives, etc.

  2. At least the move to Intel will kill one ‘complaint’ about Apple computers. The damned megahertz myth. We’ll soon all be on Intel chips so they can’t say that its not as fast as an Intel Pentium 4 whatever chip!!

    Christopher Powers

    p.s. I also hope this makes porting games a lot easier…

  3. Well, won’t the megahertz myth be working for apple this time?

    Joe Blow: “Whoa, those macs are on a 3.6 Ghz Pentium 4! That’s like, a lot faster than those 2.7 GHz G5s!”

  4. Don’t forget that what Steve was showing on the keynote is just a developer kit. This is basically the same as the Power Mac G5 developer kits that Microsoft used for the Xbox360. When compared to the Xbox360, the Mac G5 posssses only a fraction of the (graphics processing) power that the final product (Xbox360) will contain. I suspect that the same holds true for Intel. The Pentium 4 is almost at the end of its lifecycle. I don’t think Steve was interested in that when he visited Intel. Much more likely, Intel is developing something that caught Apple’s eye. Remember, they are going to introduce Macs based on intel chips in 2006-2007. If the wanted to use the Pentium 4, they could have released them tomorrow. Also Steve said that the roadmap of Intel would be a better fit to Apple than the roadmaps of other chipmanufacturers. IBM is apparently more interesed in developing a single design for mass market applications (gaming consoles) that does not change in design or clock speed in the chip’s lifespan, whereas Freescale is mostly interested in embedded products. Both of these do not fit Apple. What Intel is building however, is as of yet unknown. I wonder if Intel is going to be as secretive about its products as previous Apple suppliers.

  5. It is the OS… plus, of course, the quality of the hardware that runs it. This is the best thing Apple could have done, we are going to see some great PowerBooks/iBooks next year! Not to mention desktops, etc.

    Hmmm… wonder if if I could get an add-on card for my Pismo based on Intel? Who knows, maybe…

  6. It’s the OS and the inovation that keeps people with Macs. It’s the ease of use that keeps people with Macs. Sure Windows is a graphical user interface but it is still clunky and easily breakable. Try moving and application from the applications folder on a PC and see what happens compared to a Mac which will still work fine. That’s what people like about Apple’s products. There made for people instead of for engineers or other computers. Sometimes it’s the little things that Apple does that makes the difference.

  7. The Power PC chip is awesome. The companies making them are not awesome. It’s not Apple’s or Power PC’s fault. It’s IBM’s and Motorola’s fault. Period.

  8. “That’s what these people will never be able to grasp, it seems; it’s not pretty cases or exotic processors, it’s the OS, stupid. But, you have to really use one to understand.”

    Wow, all of a sudden MDN is the enlightened one and everyone else is the idiot. He knows the processor doesn’t matter despite the fact he was singing the chorus of why Apple wouldn’t go to Intel not to long ago.

    Way to play both sides MDN

  9. I’m still struggling with this. I keep telling myself that it would okay, Intel isn’t as bad as Microsoft and actually I have admired Intel’s embrace of Linux, which made me see the company in a different light. It’s still hard to swallow the BIG pill and know that PowerPC, which was an important part of the Mac design will now be gone.

    One question for all of you; Do you think Intel will neglect Apple the same way IBM did? Apple is still small fry in regards to Intel and their revenue stream.

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