Freescale CEO on why Apple moved to Intel: IBM decided not to make the G5 for portable use

Michel Mayer, chief executive of Freescale Semiconductor, talked with CNET’s Michael Singer in an interview published today. “While the public may not have a clue, industry insiders are quite familiar with Freescale. The company’s best-known client is Apple Computer, which is under contract to use Freescale chips to build its G4 PowerPC computers through the end of 2008,” Singer writes.

Singer asked Mayer about the G5 and Apple’s move to Intel-based Macs:

Weren’t you there during the discussions when IBM convinced Apple to adopt the G5?
Mayer: In my previous job, I ran IBM’s semiconductor business. So I’ve seen both sides of the Apple story, because I sold the G5 to Steve (Jobs) the first time he wanted to move to Intel.

Five years ago?
Mayer: Yeah, that’s about right. So I sold the G5. First I told IBM that we needed to do it, and then I sold it to Apple that the G5 was good and it was going to be the follow-on of the PowerPC road map for the desktop. It worked pretty well. And then IBM decided not to take the G5 into the laptop and decided to really focus its chip business on the game consoles.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Sailfish” for the link.]
It’s very interesting to finally see it in print and from a reputable new source that Steve Jobs wanted to move to Intel long ago and that IBM’s decision not to develop G5s for portable use finally pushed him to act.

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43 Comments

  1. Truly cretinous, if true. Which I have no reason to doubt.

    Still, the concentration on Xbox 360 is really paying off at the moment and PS3 is still a way off – so I hope IBM are sure about the choices they’ve made otherwise East Fishkill is going to be looking a little under-utilised.

  2. yeah, IBM really gave apple the finger in that regard. so many people were looking forward to a 64-bit PB, but to no avail. i remember sitting on the edge of my seat even a year ago, ancipating a PB G5.

    i guess to IBM, they’re just losing a minor client, whose sales will be made up for by microsoft and sony. bastards.

  3. dub said: “i guess to IBM, they’re just losing a minor client, whose sales will be made up for by microsoft and sony. bastards.”

    Apple will yet get the last laugh as they slowly but surely ramp up their market share and make themselves a company to recon with. IBM will eventually regret this decision. They will really need their xbox contract!

  4. Is he just regurgitating the line that steve gave us? Cuz IBM has since announced some very notebook friendly G5’s. Does he know something about this chips, such as IBM never had any plans to mass produce them, that is new information? If IBM was the one who left the relationship that makes more sense to me and quells my fears that apple is switching just to get extra strength DRM or access to intel’s movie store or any of the many non processor things intel is doing that i couldn’t care less about and am hoping apple doesn’t start using.

  5. It can’t be true. Sammy said it was all about “low power” and efficiency. Not about IBM cutting off the pipeline…He’ll post article links (I’m certain) to prove that Mayer doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.

    Ponder this…would Apple have even survived long enough running Intel crap starting back in 2000 to have let the iPod take off and rescue its business?

    Dude, you’d be getting a Dell by now if they did.

    Capt. Steve Zissou

  6. tooting his own horn? Maybe not, just makes you wonder if he’s exaggerating about how much he personally achieved.

    And when Steve “wanted to” go Intel before, did that mean he was actually set on it back then? Probably not. It meant he was THINKING about it and planning to be able to. Which we already know he was doing, of course.

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