Analysts: Apple Mac’s 5% market share glass ceiling set to shatter in 2006

“The alliance with the world’s biggest chipmaker will put Jobs & Co. on an equal footing with PC rivals and will open many more new doors,” Cliff Edwards writes in an article titled, “Just What Apple Needs: Intel” for BusinessWeek. “For Intel, the rewards are clear. CEO Paul Otellini, in a December interview with BusinessWeek, pointed out that Intel gets a new customer for its chips, ranging from microprocessors for Apple computers to flash memory for the iPod lineup.”

“But what does Apple gain from Intel? For starters, it’ll finally be on even footing with PC giants such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard in terms of chip performance. Apple had been hobbled for years, particularly in the key area of notebook PCs,” Edwards writes. “Apple will “get flexibility and a partner in Intel that can scale beyond even what they need,” notes PC analyst Richard Shim at researcher IDC. Apple has proved, however, that it brings much more to the table: Innovation that moves whole industries. Indeed, proponents of the switch to Intel chips note that Apple systems debuting this year will be the only hardware capable of running all four popular classes of software — OS X, Java applications, Linux, and Windows at near-native, or optimal, speeds. That opens the potential for putting just about every consumer application on the planet on an Apple machine.”

“Apple now needs Intel’s chip arsenal in what’s fast becoming a pitched battle to dominate video, from downloads over the Internet to high-definition DVD players,” Edwards writes. “To win, Jobs is counting on Apple’s famed design chops and reputation for making complex technologies appear deceptively simple. Analysts and rivals alike reckon he’ll succeed to some degree, with many expecting Apple to double its PC market share to about 6% worldwide in the next year… With the playing field leveled for the first time in Apple’s history against its PC competitors, expect nothing less than for it to take a huge bite out of the market.”

Full article here.

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  1. doubling share would put the US share at least at around 9%. Probably cannot happen since they’d never be able to keep up with the demand, but a solid 6% would be nice. We’ll go for 9% in 2007.

  2. Intel finally gets to really innovate by powering Apple. Innovation isn’t just a fluffy word. It means you get the newest technology out to the market first. Wouldn’t Intel like to have been the chip maker for the iPods? Intel gets to be cool again with this move.

  3. Three Letters

    To quote Hannibal at Ars

    “One of the worst pieces of news to come out of Intel’s October roadmap reorganization was the fact that the introduction of the company’s long-planned Common System Interconnect technology would be postponed. CSI is the “HyperTransport killer” that’s supposed to let Xeon and Itanium processors share the same system hardware. So CSI-based motherboards will be able to accept either a Xeon or an Itanium chip in their CPU socket with only a BIOS tweak.

    CSI isn’t here, though, and it won’t be here this year either. Intel’s next-generation x86 processors are therefore stuck with an antiquated, shared-bus interconnect topology that’s bandwidth-starved, expensive, not scalable, and inferior to coherent HT in every respect.

    This is bad news for those of us who’re pumped about Merom/Conroe, because—as any Apple fan who uses a G4 can tell you—you can have the baddest processor on the market, but if you’re starving it by sticking it on an outdated FSB then a lot of potential performance is going to waste. (Oh yes indeed my fellow Mac users; Apple is poised to have a repeat of the G4’s infamous FSB bottleneck shortly after the switch to Intel. Look on the bright side, though: the situation won’t be quite as dire… at first.) Furthermore, this problem gets worse rapidly as you increase the number of cores per socket.

    That’s why AMD’s plans to license coherent HT are a big deal. In 2006, AMD will no longer be sitting on a processor architecture that’s superior to Intel, but they will be sitting on a processor interconnect technology that’s miles ahead of what Intel is offering.”

    Maybe Intel is the wrong horse

  4. In some areas…

    You make a valid point but…..the switch to Intel is not only about CPU design, it’s also about the ASICS that go on the motherboard and the motherboards themselves. New chipsets harnessing the newest technology. Intel has been held back by Microsoft, now there’s really nothing preventing Intel from doing what they do best. If I had the cash, I’d invest in AAPL and Intel. 2006, a breakthrough year for computer technology.

  5. In some areas…

    You are 100% correct. I read the same article from Ars and thought “here we go again”. I even sent it to MDN, as what could be more Apple-centric news than something so important to their soon-to-be SOLE CPU supplier? Yet, not surprisingly, it never showed up on these pages (‘Wot? Jobs make a mistake? Improssibbubble!).

    The author here isn’t even particularly well informed: “[W]hat does Apple gain from Intel? For starters, it’ll finally be on even footing with PC giants such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard in terms of chip performance. Apple had been hobbled for years, particularly in the key area of notebook PCs…”

    I’m sorry – I didn’t get the memo that we’d time tunneled back to 1999. That’s when the first half of his statement would have been right, anyway. Yet there’s no one with a balanced mind that would make the claim that the G5 has not been more than equal to Intel on desktops & servers (and pretty close to AMD as well), especially now. As for the laptop “problem”, all I can say is that I’m writing this on a G4 iBook that routinely gets 3-4 hrs per charge, and is just as fast as any Pentium M in the same Ghz range (1.33) that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Intel’s M’s & Yonahs are a little better on the low power front, but that’s it – and I’m hardly suffering now regardless. Plus there was/is a dual core G4 that could have been used in last years PB upgrade, and AMD will soon offer the same kinds of CPUs for their mobile offerings, so Intel isn’t out ahead of anybody even there.

    Frankly, the problem with Intel’s FSB technology shows me that, in relation to their vaunted technological prowess, we’re dealing with the same old Intel from the last decade – a lot of flash & marketing, but if there’s a crucial mistake to be made that will hobble them, they’ll make it. First Netburst, now this. What they’ve spent their time and money on is DRM technology. And Apple wanted the negotiating clout that comes from being with Hollywood’s favorite on that front – THAT’s why Jobs went with them. He figured it was worth it to suffer through all the rest to have an iTunesVideoStore.

    Look, this author is simply one of the herd. He’s probably cheered everything the Wintel duopoly has done since they got huge, and now that M$ is one the downslide, he’s happy to cheer for a Macintel to take their place. Some people are just reassured by monoliths, regardless of the type or the negative consequences of having them.

    Nevertheless, the fact is Apple is becoming a part of his world now. I suppose we’ll have to get used to living there too.
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