An analyst believes that as soon as this year, Apple will rip the Intel right out of the MacBook Air and transfuse an ARM-based chip in its place, maybe even some successor to the iPad 2’s A5 SoC. But that’s just stupid. Isn’t it?
Probably. Although analyst Ben Reitze of Barclays Capital prediction is presumably informed by recent reports suggesting that Apple would switch to ARM processors for MacBooks by 2013… reports we were skeptical of at the time, due to the vast overhead involved with getting OS X running on ARM and porting applications over to run on the architecture.
None of those problems go away with a more aggressive time table. It’s certainly possible — even likely — that Apple has secretly been developing OS X Lion to run on both Intel and ARM architecture, at least as a backup plan, but the impact on developers would be huge, and there’s simply no ARM processors out there right now that are going to outperform Intel’s low-power, 64-bit, multi-core offerings.
2012? No way. 2013 or 2014, though… that may well be another story.