Apple Abandons Motorola, IBM

2/16/2K: Frustrated at Motorola’s inability to deliver 500 MHz G4 processors and the infighting between IBM and Motorola over the G4 design, Apple has unilaterally pulled out of the AIM consortium.

The Rumor Mill

Steve Jobs is expected to announce this move at Macworld Tokyo, along with Mac OS X for Wintel hardware and a planned port of OS X to Intel’s forthcoming Itanium processor. OS X for PCs will be available within weeks, along with new computers.

Apple has been quietly working with several PC manufacturers to produce new models to replace the current Macintosh line. Anticipated models are:

  • All-in-one iApple, an iMac clone based on 466 and 533 MHz Celeron processors. The faster model, just like the iMac DV, will contain FireWire, video out, and iMovie software.
  • The Power Apple will look just like the Power Mac, but be based on 600-800 MHz Pentium III processors. Exact speeds will be announced by Jobs during the Tokyo keynote.
  • The AppleBook will replace the iBook, complete with garish colors. Processor speed is expected to be in the 400-466 MHz range. 64 MB of memory will be standard.
  • The AppleBook Light will use the mobile Pentium III at speeds up to 550 MHz and come standard with a DVD drive. The AppleBook will be built by Sony using the thin Vaio form factor.
  • The AppleBook Pro will look a lot like the PowerBook G3, but with a 15″ 1280 x 1024 screen. Weight will be almost identical, it will be slightly thinner, and it will use the fastest mobile Pentium III available at any given time – for now, that’s 650 MHz.

All these machines will ship with Mac OS X Client for Intel Standard Computers. AppleWorks has already been ported over to the new OS, as has the standard email client designed for OS X. Apple is expected to announce immediate availability of OS X for Intel software from Adobe, Corel, FileMaker, and Macromedia.

It is believed this announcement will come as a total shock to Microsoft, which makes the dominant operating systems for Intel-standard hardware.

The new version of OS X client will include two compatibility modes: one that allows use of 32-bit Windows software and another that provides software emulation of the G3 processor for compatibility with current Mac OS programs.

Apple has been working closely with Intel and Hewlett Packard to port OS X to Itanium and McKinley, the next generation processors from those companies. If this works out, Apple will beat Microsoft to the OS punch and could rise to OS dominance as the new architecture displaces older Windows computers.

In another surprise move, Apple has declared the current Mac architecture and OS Open Source, making it possible for anyone who wants to to create PowerPC clones for those who don’t want to abandon the current platform before Itanium ships.

As for Pismo, the 17″ iMac, and the 500 MHz G4, Apple has thrown all that out the window. It’s a new beginning for Apple, the company that keeps trying to think different.

– Anne Onymus

Update: Steve Jobs began developing OS X for Intel with his return to Apple at the end of 1996, although he didn’t announce that Apple would switch to Intel x86 architecture until June 2005. And in January 2006, Apple showed the first Intel-based Macs – just shy of six years after Anne Onymus made this prediction!

Keywords: #intelmac #osxforintel

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