Mac OS X on AMD – and on select Apple-approved ‘clones,’ too?

Apple Online Store“I really believe (my speculation here) that recent rumors about AMD’s engineers at the Apple Campus is more than just salespeople, Apple must be working/tweaking on Mac OS X for AMD processors and this is where everything looks interesting for the Mac platform,” Desinformado writes.

At WWDC 2010 in June, “there is nothing to show on the new Mac OS X 10.7 running on AMD this time, so the smarter move is to focus on the iPhone OS, the cash cow and the main force behind the iPhone/iPod Touch and now the iPads,” Desinformado writes.

“But to accomplish the total expansion of Mac OS X to AMD, Apple will need support from AMD directly in order to gain access to the processor technology that will make [sure] OS X flies on those new 6X Core Phenom processors,” Desinformado writes. “AMD provides working prototypes of its latest processors and video cards to guarantee the quicker transition to the PC while AMD automatically profits if Mac OS X runs on any AMD equipped PC… This tme it won’t be just a Mac with AMD inside, it will be Mac OS X running on any pc or at least on certain pcs with Intel or AMD chips.”

Desinformado writes, “Apple is now in a stronger position, not to just clone the mac, but to launch the PC version of Mac OS X because the iPhone and the iPad are generating enough profit to justify this kind of risky move where the only one [it] hurts will be Microsoft .”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe somebody (see quote below) was a little bit too early again?

“iPod success paves the way for Mac OS X on X86. People have argued for years for and against the release of Mac OS X on Intel (and AMD) commodity hardware, but Apple derives such a large portion of its revenue from hardware that doing so could potentially damage the company beyond repair. But, what if Apple replaces that lost Mac hardware revenue with iPod revenue? Steve Jobs would then be free to drop what amounts to a hydrogen bomb on Microsoft. Mac OS X that runs on ‘regular’ off-the-shelf x86 hardware. Or partner with a Sony, for example – to ensure quality… Sell enough iPods and the OS war is on again in a big way – and for real this time. Steve Jobs knows this and that’s why, right now, iPod is much more important than Mac hardware to Apple.” – SteveJack, MacDailyNews, March 04, 2004


  1. I can imagine a time when Apple will stop selling high-end desktop workstations, and license the OS to a tightly-held group of third party manufacturers. I don’t see them getting out of the laptop business anytime soon.

    The upside would be faster corporate adoption of OS X, which would chum the water for further adoption of their mobile technologies. Given Microsoft’s draconian licensing fees, the current economy, and the superior TCO of Mac OS X, it could have seismic effects upon Microsoft’s overall leverage in the marketplace.

  2. Or… What if we’ve reached the point where Apple wants to get away from making boxes? OS X is the Mac, not the hardware. With the shift to the cloud, the box matters even less. Why not let a few clone makers run OS X. Dell?

  3. As I said the last time a post like this came up. I’m sure Apple is talking to AMD. It would be poor management not to constantly examine options.

    I’m sure they have prototypes running right now in some form. In finance circles it’s called hedging. Same theory applies.

    It does not mean that a change is pending or even under serious consideration. It’s more likely someone trying to pump AMD stock or short intel.

  4. “Why not let a few clone makers run OS X. Dell?”


    Because Apple is a vertical integration “systems” company, not hardware, not software, but both.. That has been the cornerstone of their success.. It allows them to control the whole user experience which is where Apple shines.

  5. Article is mental masturbation–AMD people are seen at Apple’s office, and this guys is blowing sticky wads all over himself extrapolating that into OS X on generic hardware.

    Not ever gonna happen, particularly now that Apple has iPhone/iPad bringing money in by the truckload.

    Supporting generic PCs would be a nightmare for Apple, as well as a staffing explosion Apple is not at all interested in just for the joy of getting OS X onto low end commodity PCs.

    The cost and complexity (and people required to do it) of getting OS X onto generic PCs has nothing to do with supporting closely related CPUs–that is by far the easiest part, particularly considering that OS X was running on completely unrelated processors long before it was OS X (Intel/Moto/Sun fat binaries long ago in NextSTEP.)

    Supporting generic PCs means supporting thousands of motherboards, video cards, I/O cards, firmwares, etc. etc. etc., millions of hardware combinations where Apple would either have to make do with the type of slipshod equipment manufacturer written drivers that have haunted windows since the beginning, or devoting huge staff resources to writing (or at least heavily auditing) drivers in house.

    What could be more margin-reducing (and we now how Apple likes its margins) than having to employ an army of programmers to provide support for commodity PCs.

  6. I don’t think so. This opens OS X to the same fragmentation and commodity box assembler problems that Microsoft and Linux face. Apple has shown it wants no part of that, and in fact, Apple has moved even further away from such a model by purchasing P.A. Semi and creating its own chips.

    Apple has always defined itself as a hardware company, not a software company (even though the software makes the hardware extra special).

    Apple may be talking to AMD about AMD becoming a fabricator for Apple’s chips.

  7. It may be the software, stupid- but it’s actually the hardware that sells Macs. The software is a bonus. No clones, no crap. I still need a computer even if I had a Touch, Pad, and phone. No Dell iMacs, please! Another mac advantage- hardware-software integration. You Know Google is going after that! What’s the deal here, we all need something new to fantasize about, even if it’s a lousy idea?

  8. But why? So these mix and match PC hardware providers can make a mess of the OS. How exactly would this benefit the “users experience” which Apple strives?

    Again, I ask what is the point? To take over Microsoft’s OS on the PC? Why? Who cares. Apple is changing computing, MS is stuck in the 90’s with no way out.

    That’s not thinking different, it sounds like revenge or spite. Why would they waste there time.

  9. In what universe does it make sense that Apple would go down the clone route again? Hasn’t Apple *finally* convinced the tech press at large of the superiority of vertical integration, and the inferiority of Microsoft’s “my OS, your hardware, our customers’ frustration” business model?

    Edster’s take seems the closest to being accurate. I don’t know why people keep thinking Apple’s suddenly going to stop making hardware – that’s where they make all their money! Their whole advantage is that they make the hardware *and* the software!! Is this not obivous?!? GAH!

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