Apple’s use of Silverthorne processor could dramatically boost Intel’s mobile processor business

“Sources familiar with Apple’s plans for 2008 report that the company is eyeing a new mobile processor from Intel code-named Silverthorne for use in a new generation of handheld devices. That has broad implications for Apple’s expanding role in consumer electronics, and holds out the prospect for the company to play the savior for a chip originally designed to power the second-generation of Microsoft’s beleaguered UMPCs,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

“Convincing Apple to to use the Silverthorne processor architecture in upcoming products related to the iPhone and iPod Touch architecture, or alternatively in an ultra mobile version of the MacBook line, could serve to throw Intel back into the ring in the mobile processor business. Mac sales are outpacing the growth of PC competitors by a wide margin, and new Mac-derivative devices such as the Apple TV hold promise in markets that aren’t yet established, as described in Apple TV Digital Disruption at Work: iTunes Takes 91% of Video Download Market,” McLean reports.

“Additionally, Apple’s iPod sales are continuing to grow despite the general malaise of the entertainment gadget industry. The iPhone launched into second place in North America with 27% of US Smartphone Market. Canalys figures indicate that the iPhone Already Leads Windows Mobile in US Market Share. Leveraging its relationship with Apple to push its latest processors would be a major coup for Intel, which has hit repeated setbacks in the development of processors for both mobile phones and in ultra mobile computing,” McLean reports.

“Apple could also ride the white hot competition between the x86-compatible Silverthorne and ARM licensees such as Samsung by using both families of processors in its products, particularly given the company’s unique ability to repeatedly bridge the processor compatibility chasm with its flexible operating system technology. Apple’s ability to design, deliver, and sell products will certainly keep Intel’s fingers crossed that the company picks its new chips for whatever it has up its sleeve,” McLean reports.

Full extensive article here.


  1. “Additionally, Apple’s iPod sales are continuing to grow despite the general malaise of the entertainment gadget industry.”

    Heh, the iPod is causing the general malaise of the entertainment gadget industry! They all look like cheap toys in comparison, so why would anyone buy something else?

  2. I read the article, and quite frankly, I don’t think Apple will bite.
    I have a feeling Apple does not want to produce a “compromise” product. It will max the capabilities of the iPhone, and might find a way of producing an ultramobile laptop. But those in-between products just don’t seem to fit with Apple’s ideology the way I understand it.

  3. Ampar, thank you for the links to those informative sites. I’ll add a couple more. Here’s a link to Microsoft’s site which shows some PDAs devices that use Windows Mobile:

    As you can see these things really sell themselves.

    There’s no denying they are all pretty cool. Now for the smartphones…

    Each one strikes a unique balance between form and function.

    Awesome! With Microsoft’s help each of these PDA and smartphone manufacturers have cornered the market on cool. Goes to show what can grow out of a great partnership. ‘Go it alone’ Apple doesn’t have a chance with their expensive stodgy toys.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  4. Interesting links, Zune Tang.

    But why are all of the Pocket PC and Smartphone screen backgrounds a monochrome green? Isn’t that the color of envy?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. “[…] given the company’s unique ability to repeatedly bridge the processor compatibility chasm with its flexible operating system technology.”

    I’d hate to see what running apps under “Rosetta” would do to your battery life.

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    Still, we must caution you, since the latest RIAA’s judgement on copying and sharing of media files, this little product may also be render useless and irrelevant. Clearly, Apple is beating the shit out of this year. We don’t know what hit us.

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  7. More proof that Apple should never have switched to Intel processors: way too much choice and too many options.

    Had they stuck with PowerPC as we all knew they should, they could be using the same snazzy 2 GHz PPC 970s in the iPhone, the Macs, and the ultraportable imaginary devices in between. Of course, these devices would all be the size of a PowerMac and the iPhone would burn a hole in your pocket, but that’s a small price to pay for a superior CPU architecture.

  8. I’m not so sure… For use in iPhones and iPods, the part has to be really thin so that the device can be really thin. The iPhone is thin, but the iPod touch is amazingly thin. Any new iPhone or iPod device may get a larger screen, but they would need to stay just as thin. The devices shown on the linked pages all look “chunky.”

    If the “Silverthorne” is a next gen ship that can fit, it would be a great move. OS X running on Apple’s “MID” devices and Macs would then be more similar.

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