The pros and cons of an Apple-Intel divorce

There's no need for an OS X-iOS merger, but Apple could ditch Intel in its Macs -- or adopt Intel in the iPhone and iPad

By Tom R. Halfhill, InfoWorld |  IT Management, Apple, Intel

Rumors persist that Apple will switch the Macintosh from Intel's x86 processors to ARM-compatible chips like those in the iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices. Is that possible? Is it even a good idea?

The rumors didn't come out of nowhere. In late 2010, then-CEO Steve Jobs suggested that iOS and OS X would eventually merge. In mid-2011, Apple read Intel the riot act about its power-hungry Core chips in the Mac line and hinted it might move the Macs to ARM-based CPUs.

[ For tips and tools for managing an enterprise Mac fleet, download InfoWorld's free "Business Mac" Deep Dive PDF special report today. | See InfoWorld's slideshow tour of OS X Mountain Lion's top 25 features and test your Apple smarts with our Apple IQ test: Round 2. | Keep up with key Apple technologies with the Technology: Apple newsletter. ]

Perhaps mindful of Apple's previous success in changing chips -- first from the Motorola 680x0 to the IBM/Motorola PowerPC in 1994, then from the PowerPC to the Intel x86 in 2005 -- Intel quickly reminded the industry it had power-efficient "Ivy Bridge" Core processors and "Medfield" Atom processors in the works. "Ivy Bridge" began shipping in mid-2012, powering both Macs and Windows Ultrabooks.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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