Gartner: Apple/Intel Deal Raises "Tantalizing Prospects" for the Future

Appleis switch to the Intel processor "raises tantalizing prospects for future products targeting the digital living room", but companies need to have their software ready for the switch before buying Intel-based Macs, technology analyst company Gartner concludes in a new study on Apple Computer.

Gartner analysts Van Baker and Mike McGuire concluded, "this (Apple/Intel) partnership could lead to the development of new product categories for consumer media consumption including potential hub products positioned for the living room. Given Appleis strength in handling media?including audio, video and other rich-media content?this would be a natural fit with Intelis recently announced Digital Home Group.

"Appleis acknowledged prowess in designing intuitive user interfaces that mask complex tasks together with the Intelis processing power raise tantalizing prospects for future products targeting the digital living room. Such moves by Apple would put further pressure on Microsoft to respond with better interfaces for its consumer media platforms."

The analysts believe that the hidden benefit for Appleis switch to Intel is that it gains the Intel business development team as promoters for the Apple platform in situations where it makes sense.

"While Intel will not likely promote the Mac as a general purpose computing platform, it will likely field questions on the platform and promote the platform in the traditional Mac strongholds such as desktop publishing graphics and layout, media and entertainment content, as well as rich-media development for the Internet," the report said.

The research firm recommended that Macintosh users continue to use and buy PowerPC-based computers for now and embrace Intel-based Macintoshes once they become available, after July of next year. However, the analysts cautioned that companies using Mac-savvy software should wait on buying Intel-based Macs until the companies that make at least 50% of their regularly used software have a firm plan in place to convert to the Intel platform.