A lot of websites and news outlets have been spreading the rumor that Apple and Intel are talking. About what no one knows. My speculation is Apple probably wants the XScale architecture for the next generation iPod. Intel’s XScale line of ARM processors have pretty much slaughtered the mobile platform market. This might all be a ruse. I wouldn’t put it past Jobs to start up the hype engine just to get some bargaining power with PortalPlayer, the maker of the current iPod processor. PortalPlayer just IPO’d last year and probably has a pretty big head. Jobs might just be putting them in their place.
It would probably be very easy for Apple to make an x86 version of MacOS X but I just can’t see that happening; the Quark CEO would threaten again to drop the Mac platform and the rest of the developer community would flip out. Apple does a major architecture overhaul every 8-10 years (68k, PPC, OS X)… it’s not quite time yet. 🙂
One website I was reading last night (I wish I kept the link) speculated that if Apple went to Intel processors it would be the end of IBM’s microprocessor business. Please. Isn’t IBM going to make the PS3’s “cell” processor? IBM is going to sell more cell processors than G5’s next year, I doubt losing Apple would hurt IBM that much.
I like the ruse theory. Unless Intel is desperate to get into the iPod I doubt anything will come of this.