In the eyes of the uneducated consumer, perception is reality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way this unfortunate truth has been used by Intel marketing to convince many of the power of the Pentium 4. To followers of the industry, the chip is well known for its artificially inflated clock speeds which do not equate to like increases in performance. If the timing is right and Apple is willing, it should be able to turn the tables and use Intelis own tactics for itis own advantage.
According to a CNET News.com article, Intel isnit in a big rush to bring a 64 bit processor to the desktop. The chipmaker doesnit see the need for such a chip in consumer machines. Suddenly, it is more concerned with itis customersi processing needs than selling the next biggest thing. Either that or the problems with the 64 bit program (Itanium) are making it difficult for it to use the standard promotional practices. Suddenly the company sounds more like Apple and Motorola than Intel.
Apple should follow suit and start acting a little more like Intel.
As well known as the inflated performance claims about the Pentium 4 are, Motorolais speed problems with the G4 are cited even more frequently. The gap between clock speeds has been giving Apple a black eye for months. That perception could change if Apple chooses to use IBMis 64 bit PowerPC 970 for its desktop computers, but not the way you might think.
In real world applications, using a 64 bit processor doesnit automatically mean better performance, but the general public doesnit know that. Apple needs to shout "64 bit powered" from the mountain tops. If consumers want to see larger specifications, thatis what should be provided to them. Let them draw their own conclusions.
Apple needs to hurry though, Intel wonit be caught by this apparent shortcoming for long without spinning up its multi-million dollar marketing machine. This will hold especially true due to the fact that AMD, a direct competitor, is also working on a 64 bit desktop processor.
If this turns out to be a miscalculation by Intel it could give the PowerPC the time it needs to make up both perceived and actual performance gaps. Apple must make the most of this rare opportunity.