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Tue 7 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Apple to wear Intel Inside badge

Apple Computer has announced that it will begin a phased transition to Intel microprocessors and cut ties with its current chip supplier, IBM.

Apple Computer has announced that it will begin a phased transition to Intel microprocessors and cut ties with its current chip supplier, IBM.

Apple has been using IBM’s PowerPC processors since 1994, but now plans to move its computers to using Intel chips. Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs announced the change during his keynote address at the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday. Jobs cited Intel’s better power performance per watt for the switch.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple had in fact been considering this switch to Intel for a long time. Analysts also raised fears that Apple would have to alter the Macintosh operating system and that new Macs wouldn’t be fully compatible with existing software.

However, Jobs explained yesterday that, for the past five years, every release of Mac OS X had been designed to run with both IBM’s PowerPC processors and Intel processors, thus demystifying fears regarding the same. “Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life,” Jobs reportedly said, while running visuals for his keynote address from a Mac running a 3.6-GHz Pentium 4 processor.

In 2004, Apple shipped approximately 10,000 desktop and notebook units, capturing almost 0.4% of the total desktop and notebook market in the Middle East. Its end-user base is made up mostly of SMBs within the media and production industry, and the education sector.

The first Macs with Intel processors will appear next year, with the switch to Intel mostly completed by end of 2007. Apple did not say which specific Intel processors it would use, nor did it say which Mac models would be the first to run with Intel inside.

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