The Macintel Report

Will Apple Market 'Intel Inside'?; 'Napa' Platform Popular, but Will Apple Use It?; and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.12.22

This Week's Macintel News

Apple's decision to switch to Intel CPUs means we live in very interesting times.

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

Will Apple Promote 'Intel Inside' New Macs?

Sci-Tech Today says:

"Intel is the master of helping its partners sell computers, in part by helping them foot the bill for advertising. If you're Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Toshiba, or IBM, the more you advertise, the more you sell. And the more you sell, the more you want to advertise to sell more.

"The coming year for Apple Computer is full of questions, and many of them are connected one way or another with the switch to using microprocessors from Intel. How Apple will or won't build around this or that Intel platform is likely to be answered when CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage at the annual Macworld conference on Jan. 10.

"But to me, a more interesting question is one that goes straight to the heart of the relationship between Apple and its newest chip supplier. As Apple includes Intel's chips inside its machines, will it also point to the Intel brand on the outside? In particular, will Apple place an Intel medallion on computers, or mention Intel in the ads for computers that house Intel chips?"

Link: Will Apple Push Intel Inside?

Intel's 'Napa' Platform Faster, More Popular than Previous Gen 'Sonoma'

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"Intel's next-generation Centrino platform, codenamed 'Napa', not only consumes rather less power than its predecessor does, but is faster and has garnered a greater degree of industry support, the chip giant claimed this week.

"According to Keith Kressin, a marketing director within Intel's Mobility Group, Napa will form the basis for at least 230 systems, more than the previous generation of the platform, 'Sonoma'.

"Why? A greater interest in mobile products, for one, but also because Napa consumes 28 per cent less power than today's top-of-the-range Sonoma-based notebooks, Kressin claimed. That's a result of the use of a 65nm process to make the CPU, 'Yonah', but it also arises from the tweaks made to the chip's sleep modes and its cache infrastructure."

Link: 'Napa' Faster, More Popular than 'Sonoma' - Intel

Will Intel's 'Napa' Platform be Foundation for Apple Laptops?

Mercury News's Dean Takahashi says:

"Intel announced Tuesday that its new line of chips will be built into more than 230 new laptop computers coming in 2006, making them much better at running music, movies and other digital media.

"But it wouldn't say a word about whether that includes the laptop creating the most buzz, expected from its new marquee customer, Apple Computer.

"The new laptops are based on Intel's new Napa platform that will enable the biggest upgrade in two years for portable technology. An Apple laptop with the technology could address the pent-up demand among the Macintosh faithful who have been disappointed with Apple laptops that run on PowerPC chips. Apple said this year it would switch to Intel by mid-2006.

"The Napa-based computers have a microprocessor chip, dubbed Yonah, that has two processing brains on a single chip. It is Intel's first dual-core laptop microprocessor and can perform 30 percent to 68 percent faster on software programs compared with single-core chips.

"Napa computers will also be as much as 30 percent smaller and consume 28 percent less battery power than current Intel-based laptops, said Keith Kressen, an Intel mobile marketing director."

Link: Will Intel's Napa Chip Run Apple Laptops?

Intel Drives Apple Sales Up in 2006?

techrepublic.com reports:

"'Apple Sales Mushroom, Thanks To Intel CPUs'

"That is one headline that we will definitely not be seeing in 2006. Standard business practice to making a product sell, is to accomplish at least one of the following: better product for the same price, equal product at a better price, or superior customer perception of product, regardless of price. In other words, it either needs to be better, cheaper, or marketed as such.

"I am not going to dispute Apple's back office reasons for switching to the Intel CPUs. They had a rocky relationship with IBM and Motorola, and the PPC platform was not going where Apple needed it to. Intel offered them a way out, and Apple had conveniently been maintaining an x86 version of OS X the whole time. If Apple had been maintaining a SPARC version of OS X instead of x86, we would be hearing about a Sun/Apple partnership right now. The decision has been made, the code has been written and is being tested. It is a done deal.

"But those who think that this deal will significantly boost sales of Macintosh computers are dead wrong. The Intel architecture simply does not add value, reduce prices, or make the product more marketable. Here is why."

Link: Intel Drives Apple Sales Up in 2006?

The Apple/Intel Report: The Pressure Mounts

Gene Steinberg, the Mac Night Owl, writes:

"Over the past six months, most of my columns have focused on the well- known positive aspects of Apple's impending switch to Intel processors. But, no, I'm not being a cheerleader; I just want to take as realistic an approach as possible and clear up the confusion and misguided speculation."

Link: The Apple/Intel Report: The Pressure Mounts

NEC Unveils First 'Yonah' Notebook

The Register's Tony Smith reports:

"NEC has announced what may well be the first notebook to be based on Intel's upcoming 65nm, dual-core processor, 'Yonah'.

"The Japanese manufacturer's LaVie RX LR900/ED, announced yesterday, will contain the new CPU, backed by 512 MB of DDR2 SDRAM - the upper limit's 1.5 GB - and Intel's 945 Express chipset, aka 'Callistoga' and derived from the 945 desktop chipset series.....

"What NEC didn't say was when the machine will ship - 'sometime in 2006' was as close as it got to a launch timeframe. Yonah is expected to debut early next year as part of the launch of the third-generation Centrino platform."

Link: NEC Unveils First 'Yonah' Notebook

More Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

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