“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.
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