With rumors about OS X 10.9 emerging, some speculated that it will feature the integration of OS X and iOS. This merge could happen at some point, although it is less likely to happen soon.
Shifting Apple Products to ARM-based Processor
According to Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu in a note to investors last Tuesday, it will take Apple some time to optimize its Mac OS X operating system for ARM processors. In addition, the chip can be found in the iPad and iPhone.
Currently, Intel processors are much more powerful to run intensive Mac applications, as well as the OS’ development. However, the analyst believes that ARM processor will become powerful enough to eventually replace the Intel chips. He also added that making Apple’s entire product lineup to be ARM-based will simplify the architecture of the devices. Not to mention that it can create a more seamless experience for users.
On the other hand, Wu noted that the Mac represents just 14-18 percent of Apple’s total revenue, while the iPhone accounts for between 45 and 50 percent. Moreover, the iPad represents the 20-25 percent of the company’s total revenue.
The analyst’s take was issued in response to Bloomberg’s report last Monday. According to the online publication, Apple’s engineers are confident enough that their A-series custom chip designs will be powerful enough to run on laptop and desktop machines one day.
As of the moment, the ARM-based silicon chips are limited to iOS devices.
The Inevitable Transition
Previous reports also suggest that the change to ARM processors is unlikely to happen “in the next few years”. However, the shift to proprietary chip designs will be an “inevitable” transition.
It was reported that Apple already has a dedicated team for the project, with engineers working to design a lineup of devices that will rely on a common chip design. The company currently employs this approach with its recent lineup of iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
Meanwhile, a potential shift to ARM could pose a threat to Intel. Wu also noted that Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air has four to five hours of battery life on heavy use, while the ARM-based iPad boasts ten hours of battery life.
Rumors suggesting that Apple could power their machines with ARM-based processors are not new. Recently, there were claims that the company has “deliberated” to move their Mac computer lineup away from Intel. Although this change could be imminent, nothing has been confirmed.