Apple’s low-cost, ARM-based business Macs would alter PC landscape

“Apple led the smartphone revolution when in 2007 it introduced the iPhone,” J. M. Manness writes for Seeking Alpha. “Along with iPads, these are now driven by Apple’s custom designed A-series processors, which have steadily increased in power.”

“To my mind, it’s clear that Apple intends to move its custom processors into its Mac line – creating new low-end options,” Manness writes. “This will be a huge disruptor in the PC industry – particularly to Microsoft.”

“This would be a direct attack on the Microsoft empire. Windows PCs have achieved domination on several factors, but a major one has always been initial cost,” Manness writes. “‘Macs are too expensive’ was the rally cry of IT pros steeped in the MS culture. With a sub $400 Mac, this could no longer be claimed.”

Read more in the full article here.

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34 Comments

  1. If Apple makes ARM Macs, NONE of the Intel software on Mac will run on it. Software developers will have to at the very least recompile, retest, and re-release all their software if they want it on ARM Macs, or worse case completely recode and make separate versions for the ARM platform (or possibly not even release ARM software for Mac because nobody is using it)

    So these Apple branded computers, made with cheap hardware, not only can’t run any Windows software, they can’t run any Mac software either, unless it was released after 2014 and made to support ARM Macs. And this cheap untested Apple platform with no software is supposed to appeal to businesses???? Jesus, how clueless is this analyst? Here’s another brilliant suggestion: name the new ARM Mac operating system “Windows RT.” That will totally sell, right?

  2. The ARM based devices that Apple sells cost more than the cheap crap business PCs the article is talking about. It’s an absurd notion to think that you could cheapen these devices while providing more processing and memory. This article is as dumb as all the articles were back when netbooks came out and they clamored for an Apple version. Besides, if Apple did anything like this, all the PC prices would drop. Apple never has and NEVER will compete in the low class PC market. There’s no money to be made. All the suppliers cut each others throats until some exit the business. Add to the fact that virtually all of mainstream (non-artistic) business relies on MS Office for inter-business compatibility, like another commenter said, a cheap older Intel chipset would make more sense. The only way Apple will make huge inroads into business is to dominate the software side of it’s mobile systems, and offer low support cost macs to pair with the iOS devices. They’ve already teamed with IBM to start this path. There will have to be compelling business advantages in what comes out of the partnership to supplant any PCs in business. In addition, the courts must not allow copycat software on Android to do the equivalent functions. This article is totally nonsensical.

  3. Swapping out an Intel processor for an A8 in a MacBookAir won’t drop the price $600+. How ridiculous.

    This guy doesn’t even factor into the equation the problems with processor instructions, such that Apple would have to re-code OS X for A8 processors, have developers re-code for A8 processors, and have some sort of emulation available for those who had not re-coded yet. It’s so much more complicated than swapping out the processors.

    Not to mention the fact that Apple has shown zero desire to compete in the cheap-a$$ laptop/PC market because there’s no profit in the $400-$1,000 range, at least not while building laptops Apple would be proud to call Macs.

  4. This already exists people. It is called the Mac Mini, which can be had for as little as $450. If I had known that back then, I would not have bought my last – and it will be my last – Windows computer.

  5. The guys an analist and therefore operating out of an alternate universe. He doesn’t even know what planet all this information refers to. It could be planet zog or something or maybe not. Who knows. It’s just tiny electrical sparks going off inside his head.

  6. Would the idiots who want a Mac RT please shut up? There is nothing to be gained by forking the best desktop OS. If you want to use a less capable processor and a less capable OS, Apple already offers iOS.

    Microsoft already demonstrated that underpowered laptops with touchscreens are a useless kludge. If the MacBook Air is too big and heavy and expensive for the folks who discovered that iOS doesn’t allow them to do all the things they used to do with laptops, tough. Neither ARM chips, nor the iPad, nor iOS are going to be a powerful enough OS in your lifetime. Deal with it by saving up your pennies and buying a real Mac.

    1. What Microsoft demonstrated is that if your goal is to make sure you make your Intel rival product underpowered so that your buddy Intel doesn’t get pissed at you, no one will want that underpowered product.

  7. Makes no sense at all for a Mac mini (!) but could make sense for an ultra-long-battery-life MB Air, provided it can run current Mac software, which would be an amazing technical feat!

    1. Amazing on the order of getting pigs to fly. Yes, you can build an emulator that runs at snail speeds, just as you can build a porcine cannon, but neither result will be pretty.

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