At other times, Apple milks a gravy train (to mix a few metaphors) like there’s no tomorrow. Jump to the future. Milk the present. The last notable jump was the iPad. What’s next? Is a future generation of Macs going to be the next great thing, or one more thing in Apple’s evolution?
That Was Then, This Is Now
Apple is not afraid to discard the past. The original iMac came without a floppy disk drive. Apple discarded the past. But the original iMac came with USB; open arms to the future.
In 2005 Apple did the unthinkable, but in retrospect, the logical– out with IBM and Motorola’s PowerPC chips, and Intel came Inside.
That was a bold but calculated move for Apple. By setting up the Xcode development environment in 2003, Apple paved the way for Mac apps to be capable of running on older PowerPC Macs, and new Macs with Intel CPUs.
So, Apple has a history of successful leaps and bounds. What’s next? A few years ago Apple bought a chip design company called P.A. Semi, the remnants of which are now responsible for the power-packed, energy sipping ARM chips in iPhone and iPad models.
If the Cook Doctrine means anything, Apple may be planning to dump Intel Inside, and design their own line of chips for the Mac.
The Cook Doctrine?
We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change. And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.
Apple likes to control both the user experience and the components that go into making their products.
Note this phrase from Tim Cook.
We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make…
Apple was willing to kick out Google Maps from iOS 6 in return for their own homegrown maps app because Google was unwilling to provide competitive mapping data. Apple felt maps were an important and integral part of the iOS user experience.
If the future of computing is mobility, future Apple devices will need ever more powerful CPUs which continue to use less energy than current products. If Apple relies on off-the-shelf technology, whether from Intel or ARM, how does the company differentiate itself from the competition?
CPUs is one way. Already Apple’s new iPad 4 CPU blows away the competition as benchmarked in this analysis from AnandTech. Could Apple be using their in house technology to create a pathway for Intel Outside?
Yes. And it makes sense. Future Macs will need to be lighter, slimmer, and more powerful. If Intel’s CPU architectural roadmap is not sufficient for Macs to be notably different than run-of-the-mill Windows PCs, then an Apple designed architecture makes very good sense.