Dvorak Thinks Switch to Intel Could Boost Mac Market Share

Columnist John Dvorak, who has never been afraid to criticize Apple and the Mac, did an audio interview with MarketWatchis John Wordock in which he speculated on Appleis rumored move to Intel chips. While he noted that such a switch "depends on the details and the implementation," it "shouldnit be too hard" and "it will open up new markets that may increase Appleis market share overall."

Mr. Dvorak seems to assume, however, that Appleis decision would enable Mac OS X to run on garden variety WinTel machines, saying: "The Mac OS could be useable on more machines in the long term. You could take a PC as it now exists and use the Mac OS on it. That would increase the total number of developers who are willing to create applications for the Mac."

He did note, though, that "Apple leans toward the proprietary side," which could be "a fly in the ointment." He said a lot of people have been hoping Apple would make the switch "and stop being so alone in the world." Like many other pundits who have weighed in recently, Mr. Dvorak thought that Apple will make a successful transition, similar to the one it embarked on during the move from 68000 processors to the PowerPC.

In the long term, Mr. Dvorak said that the switch "will create an opportunity for Mac users to get software they couldnit get otherwise," although he didnit elaborate on that statement. He also said that he thought that not only would Microsoft be concerned by the news, but that the Linux community wouldnit appreciate the competition, since it and Mac OS X are both UNIX-based. Itis possible to put Linux on a Mac now, however.

Finally, Mr. Dvorak expected the move to increase the companyis prices, "because Apple will enter the market with a premium-priced product." He did note, however, that he believes margins throughout the industry are so low that theyire actually hurting it.