What the Apple-Intel Deal Could Mean For PCs

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TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle on Monday published his thoughts on the technology business at the end of 2005. Among other things, he speculated on how Appleis new relationship with Intel could alter the overall PC business, given both companiesi history of being difficult to work with.

"When it comes to the company they are most frustrated with, the OEMs tend to switch between Microsoft and Intel," Mr. Enderle wrote. Noting that he thinks Intel "clearly has the lead right now in terms of aggravation," the columnist said that the companyis biggest problem is its tendency to make decisions without taking into account how they will affect its partners.

Apple, of course, likes to dictate terms to its partners too. With AMD suing Intel for alleged anti-competitive business practices and the OEMs believing that Intel has "cut two sweetheart deals with Apple," Mr. Enderle expects 2006 to be "a really interesting year" in the computer business. If AMD makes headway in its lawsuit and the OEMs dig up proof that Intel is treating Apple differently, the competitive landscape could change dramatically.

Appleis deal with Intel could also lead to a change in terms of computer design. Mr. Enderle explained that the OEMs have always blamed Intel and Microsoft for keeping them from creating innovative designs, an excuse that the columnist thought was more about avoiding risks.

Of course, Apple is well-known for its unique industrial design. If that trend continues after the company switches to Intel processors, "it will go a long way towards moving the industry into more an era of exciting products overall," Mr. Enderle wrote. "This might not be great for Apple but it would be wonderful for those of us that love design and use Windows."

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