At first blush, the financial impact of Apple abandoning Intel CPUs for its Macs looks relatively minor. But there’s a deeper reason ARM-Based Macs Hurt Intel. And it’s a whopper.
At Bloomberg, Tae Kim reports: Apple’s Mac Chip Switch Is Double Trouble for Intel.
The Deeper Reason ARM-Based Macs Hurt Intel
Author Kim starts with what we’ve surmised all along.
The most obvious is the direct impact of losing revenue as the sole processor supplier for Apple’s PC line. The Mac currently represents 12% of the U.S. PC market based on units sold, according to the latest Gartner data….
At first blush, the financial losses for Intel seem manageable. However, there are second-order effects that may prove more worrisome.
The second, not-so-obvious impact is more of a headache for Intel. Author Kim gets right to it.
Currently, Intel dominates the high-profit-margin data-center business, where it sells server chips to cloud-computing providers and corporations….
Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, has long said the main reason Arm chips have struggled to gain traction in servers was because there weren’t any Arm-based PC platforms at critical mass….
Now, though, with Mac shifting to Arm-based chips, developers will have tens of millions of Arm-based machines at their finger tips, offering a thriving ecosystem for the up-and-coming chip architecture.
This analysis is compelling because corporate servers generally run Linux and macOS is basically FreeBSD, a UNIX cousin of Linux. Author Kim concludes:
Yes, it will take some time for Apple’s move to impact the market…. But in coming years, Intel’s key [enterprise] businesses will be threatened by Apple’s move.
I agree, and my hat is off to author Kim for this analysis.
The Week’s Apple News Debris
• Would you believe? Cult of Mac writes: “9 new iPhone models, a new Mac head for certification before WWDC.”
Regarding these 9 iPhone models,
These are all thought to be variants of the iPhone 12 lineup, which, according to countless other reports, will be available in four size options with two different 5G connectivity options for different markets.
The success of the iPhone SE suggests that Apple needs to cover its bases across the entire size spectrum nowadays. Hence four sizes.
Regarding the new iMac,
One tipster expects the machine to sport a significant redesign inspired by iPad Pro, as well as the latest AMD Navi graphics and a T2 Security Chip. It could be the biggest change for iMac in almost eight years.
That means a full screen, small bezel all-around design without the bar and Apple logo at the skirt of the display. I discussed that idea on BGM with Rene Ritchie.
• Finally, if you do plan to dive into 5G wireless this year, Gene Munster writes: “5G Will Live up to the Hype, Apple Will Capitalize.”
We expect it to take wireless carriers another two to three years to build out 5G coverage. At that point, Apple is set to capitalize on a massive wave of 5G-related tech spending. In our view, Apple is the best way to invest in the 5G cycle.
Isn’t that always so with emerging technology?
Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.