Saturday, August 8, 2020

Apple gives Intel the pass

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Almost all PCs and notebooks worldwide run on processors from Intel. Processors are the brain of every computer. This means that all devices are similar and to some extent interchangeable. Apple has already stood out with its own operating system. In the future, the company’s own processors will also give customers a reason to use Apple’s Mac computers. Thanks to the new, dedicated chips, Apple computers should run faster, use less energy and become safer, said software manager Craig Federighi on Monday evening. Software providers such as Microsoft or Adobe have already developed customized versions of their programs.

2. What does the move mean for Intel?

The world’s largest chip maker loses an important customer. Because nobody spends as much money on semiconductors as Apple. The Silicon Valley group accounted for just under nine percent of total chip industry sales last year. At Intel, however, the iPhone producer only makes up a small part of the revenue, analysts estimate the share at five percent. Ultimately, Intel supplies all other PC and notebook manufacturers and is also the most important manufacturer of processors for network computers, the so-called servers.

Nevertheless, saying goodbye to Apple hurts: Intel has supplied Apple for 15 years. For the Macs, it is the third change in the chip platform after the transition from Motorola to IBM in the early 1990s and the change to Intel in 2005. At that time, Intel was still a giant in the IT industry compared to Apple, but now they switched roles: Apple’s market capitalization is almost six times that of Intel.

Recently, rival AMD Intel, which has been hard hit for many years, has lost market share. However, AMD’s revenue is still less than 10 percent of Intel’s.

Intel itself responded to Apple’s announcement that the company would continue to support its customers. Incidentally, Intel has the most advanced chips on offer. It is the most open platform for software developers ever.

3. What does the step bring to users?

Apple is already developing its own high-performance processors for its mobile devices based on the architecture of the British chip designer ARM. So far, as usual in the PC industry, chips from Intel with the so-called x86 architecture have been used in Apple notebooks and desktop computers. ARM processors are generally considered to be more energy efficient, which is particularly relevant for laptops.

In the future, all computers, tablets and smartphones from Cupertino will use the same underlying chip architecture. In this way, apps developed for the smartphone and the iPad can also run on the new Mac computers in the future. “At Apple, hardware and software integration is critical to everything we do,” said CEO Tim Cook.

4. What is the schedule?

The first Mac computers with the new chips should come on the market at the end of the year. It is still open which models it is. However, Macs with Intel chips would continue to be supported, and Macs with Intel chips would “remain” for many years to come, Apple said. In December, for example, the company launched its Mac Pro supercomputer for $ 10,000, which runs on Intel processors.

5. How big is Apple’s influence on the PC market?

Apple is the fourth largest computer producer in the world. The market share by number in the first quarter was just under seven percent. For comparison: According to market researchers from Gartner, industry leader Lenovo comes to around 25 percent, HP is in second place with about 21 percent. Apple delivered a good 3.5 million PCs and notebooks.

Overall, it is a difficult business, with industry sales falling by twelve percent in the first three months of the year. Because the PC industry is dependent on Intel, the manufacturers bring out their innovations more or less simultaneously – depending on when Intel delivers a new processor generation.

Over the past few years, Intel has repeatedly faced delivery difficulties and innovations have also been delayed. Apple can determine the time for its latest computers in the future. Apple’s computer sales have recently been around $ 25 billion.

More: Apple breaks away from the app

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