“Apple’s mercurial and high-handed relationship with its chip suppliers” was what caused Apple’s switch from IBM to Intel processors, according to Ars Technica’s Jon “Hannibal” Stokes.
Apple over the years has routinely demanded that Motorola dedicate their CPU design teams to making special chips for Apple that will never generate much revenue. If Motorola won’t play, Apple will go to IBM. Apple kept up the demands with IBM, threatening with their only valid threat: we’ll go to Intel. “Apple has been pulling these stunts for a long time, as anyone who followed the company’s relationship with Motorola knows,” Stokes writes.
Basically, IBM told Apple, “Fine, go to Intel.”
“The cold, hard reality here is that the Mac is Apple’s past and the iPod is Apple’s future. It’s a shame that Steve Jobs can’t be upfront with his user base about that fact, because, frankly, I think the Mac community would understand. The iPod and what it represents… is the Macintosh of the new millennium… [It’s not that IBM] dropped the performance ball,” Stokes explains. “What Jobs is really doing is shifting the focus of Apple from a PC-era ‘performance’ paradigm to a post-PC-era ‘features and functionality’ paradigm.”
“For the real reason behind the switch, you have to look to the fact that it’s the iPod and iTMS—not the Mac—that are now driving Apple’s revenues and stock price. Apple is more concerned with scoring Intel’s famous volume discounts on the Pentium and XScale lines than it is about the performance, or even the performance per Watt, of the Mac,” Stokes writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Stokes’ questions about the recently announced PowerPC 970MP and 970FX chips from IBM are interesting. You’ll need to read Stokes’ full article, which we highly recommend. For us, it’s always been about “features and functionality” over “performance” anyway. As we used to ask Windows users, “what good are high performance CPUs if you’re constantly running virus scanners, routinely fighting the user interface, and can’t run best-in-class applications like Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic, DVD Studio Pro, GarageBand, iMovie, or iDVD, to name but a few?”
Now that the CPU issue has been eliminated from the conversation, Apple’s strong points are highlighted even more. The Mac OS and the applications are without compare in the Wintel world. Mac OS X Tiger vs. Windows XP? Puleeze. If the Mac is Apple’s past, it’s also its present and future.