Today, Apple can afford to take risks and go its own way. It would have been characteristic for Jobs to declare his independence from Intel by decreeing that all future Apple products must someday use Apple-designed processors based on Apple's own ARM CPU cores. Even if it wasn't an explicit command, his inheritors may be thinking along the same lines, due to their longtime exposure to his reality-distortion field. Having fathered a few successful application processors, they may now believe they can beat Intel at its own game.
Therefore, you can't rule out that Apple will switch the Mac to ARM or move iOS to the x86. This is not a company that follows the beaten track.
Technically, however, the best bets are that x86 processors will remain the high-performance leaders for desktops, laptops, and servers, while ARM processors will not lose their low-power advantages for mobile devices. Expect the rest of the industry to follow those assumptions until something radically changes. Apple, as it has in the past, could be that radical catalyst.
This story, "The pros and cons of an Apple-Intel divorce," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in processors and Mac OS X at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
Read more about the industry standard in InfoWorld's The Industry Standard Channel.