Rumors that Apple might ditch Intel chips in the Mac for ARM-based chips of their own design are nothing new. Back in 2012, we reported that Apple would soon be dropping Intel chips from all their Macs. And earlier this year, ex-Apple-executive Jean-Louis Gassée claimed that he thought Apple would soon ditch Intel too. Heck, even Intel has said in the past it considered Apple switching to ARM on the desktop to be a very real and scary threat. Yet it still hasn’t happened. So far, it’s the rumor equivalent of the Apple HDTV: even though it endlessly comes up in the news cycle, it still hasn’t happened.
Even so, when usually accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities issued a note last week saying that Apple would fully switch from Intel to ARM by 2016, it caused a ruckus. People took the rumor more seriously than most, just based on Kuo’s amazing track record. But according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, he’s not worried. But he’s also not denying it’s a possibility.
Over the years, I’ve seen rumor after rumor that Apple would eventually abandon Intel chips in favor of ARM chips. And time after time, I’ve refuted those arguments, saying that a Mac running ARM processors is not likely to happen anytime soon.
But maybe I’m wrong. Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée — himself a longtime skeptic of Apple’s transition to ARM chips for its desktop and laptop computers — says he’s recently been convinced, and even believes that Apple could release ARM-based Macs as soon as 2016.
The Rumor: iWatch will have a round face, rather than the rectangular flexible display that's been rumored for over a year.
The Verdict: Probably not. Analyst Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities swears the iWatch will look similar to the Moto 360 after he went on a trip to Taiwan just to find out what Apple's supply chain is prepping, but the round watch face goes against everything we've heard so far. Plus, Blair's track record for Apple rumors is practically nonexistent other than in 2011 when he said the iTV was going to be a 55-inch iMac. There's no reason to believe him yet.
The Verdict: Kinda true. We've been clamoring for Apple to make the iHome a reality for a year but it looks like 'Made for iHome' won't be nearly as impressive or robust as the Financial Times rumor claims it will be.
The Verdict: Definitely yes. Even though the rumor comes from the unreliable Digitimes, Apple has to start producing the iPhone 6 en mass by late-July or early-August if it hopes to have enough on shelves for its regular fall launch. The production delays on the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be frustrating for fanboys wanting their first phablet, but maybe the goodies in iOS 8 will keep them distracted long enough they won't notice.
The Verdict: Please yes, but maybe it's a bad idea? This could be the first iPhone 6 rear shell spotted in the wild and it's the first rear shell to have a clear logo. Matching the iPhone's logo to the glowing MacBook logo would look awesome, until you go to a concert and 800 zealots thrust their pulsating Apple lights into the air to praise Jobs, or take a picture. It could get weird.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
Ever since Apple first unveiled the iPad, we’ve been hearing rumors about Apple switching to ARM-based Macs. Now, the rumor is back again, with a French website claiming that Apple is actively developing 64-bit, quad-core Mac variants with ARM-based chips. But we’re just as skeptical as we’ve ever been.
If that seems like a disorganized, chaotic response, you’re right. But there’s a reason for that. According to a new report, Apple’s unveiling of the 64-bit A7 chip took the entire semiconductor industry with their pants down… and everyone’s now scrambling to catch up.
Every once and a while, someone suggests that Apple will eventually migrate OS X over to ARM, and the A7 processor’s move to 64-bit has reopened that rumor yet again. As we’ve explained before, they almost definitely won’t, but the rumor persists nonetheless.
It’s interesting, then, to see a different variation on this rumor. According to a Barclays Capital analyst, Apple doesn’t intend to put ARM chips in every MacBook… they want to make iPads into notebooks as alternatives to Macs.
When last we heard about Apple’s 64-bit aspirations, a notable CPU designer was saying that Apple couldn’t outrun Moore’s Law, and that the earliest Cupertino would manage to swing a 64-bit A7 processor was by 2014.
According to a new report by Fox News reporter Clayton Morris, though, Cupertino might have been juicing. A 64-bit A7 processor could be included in the iPhone 5S.
A lot has been said and rumored lately about whether or not Intel would ever start making ARM-based chips. Current Intel CEO Paul Otellini was against it, but Otellini is stepping down this month, so ultimately the question was: “What would Intel’s next CEO think about making some ARM chips for partners like Apple?”
Ultimately, how the next CEO of Intel would feel about that prospect came down to whether or not he was promoted from within Intel (as all of Intel’s CEOs ever have been) or if he came from outside the company. What made the question of who Intel’s next CEO would be so interesting is that Intel’s board of directors was, for the first time ever, openly talking about looking outside of the company. Intel could have gained a much different perspective.
Although PC makers are feeling the pinch, Intel actually posted a surprisingly decent quarter yesterday. But Intel’s still feeling a big pinch from ARM, which is just showing explosive growth, shipping 35% more ARM-based chips (like, yes, Apple’s A-series SoCs) than it did a year ago.