“Shortly after Apple introduced its first custom A4 Application Processor in 2010 to power the original iPad, rumors began to suggest the company could eventually migrate its Macs from Intel x86 processors to ARM chip designs of its own. However, there’s a series of significant hurdles the company would need to jump first,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.
“The primary reason for Apple to consider developing Macs using a non-Intel processor is cost. Intel makes its money developing advanced processors that are hard to copy or compete against, so it can charge prices padded with a steep profit margin,” Dilger reports. “IHS iSuppli estimates that… A6 chips cost Apple around $25 per iPad, but that it pays Intel somewhere around $180-300 for the Intel chips that power Macs. The tantalizing idea of Apple replacing $200 Intel processors with one or two of its own $25 chips is the primary fuel powering the Mac/ARM rumors.”
“All things considered, were Apple indeed interested in moving even a specific new Mac product (such as the oft-rumored “low cost” MacBook Air) to a custom new ARM chip, it certainly isn’t far away from being able to match Intel’s low end desktop processors at an attractive price. ARM is already beating Intel’s mobile x86 Atom chips,” Dilger reports. “While Apple is now one of the world’s leading mobile chip design firms and has $150 billion in cash to embark upon ambitious new projects, remaining a customer of Intel still makes sense for a number of reasons.”
Read more in the full article here.
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