The Macintel Report

Intel Anticipation Slowed Mac Sales, Rosetta RAM Hungry, 34 Known Problems in Core Duo, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.01.26

This Week's Macintel 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.

News, Analysis, and Opinion


Other Intel News

News, Analysis, and Opinion

Intel Anticipation Slowed Mac Sales in Holiday Quarter's Ina Fried reports:

"Apple executives confirmed on Wednesday that some buyers put off Mac purchases last quarter in anticipation of new Intel-based Macs - although that slowdown was masked somewhat by strong iPod sales.

"In the holiday quarter that ended 31 December - which this year included an extra 14th week - Apple sold 1.25 million Macs. That was just a one per cent increase from the prior quarter and below what many analysts had originally predicted.

"Apple acknowledged that it saw some customers hold off on purchases ahead of January's Macworld Expo as they waited for the company to start making Intel-based Macs. However, Apple said it was pleased the stall in sales wasn't more pronounced."

Link: Apple Confirms 'Waiting for Mactel' Sales Pause

Rosetta Likes Lots of RAM

HardMac's Lionel says:

"...most non-universal binaries application running via Rosetta on a MacIntel will request between 1.5 to 3.77 fold more RAM than when running on a PPC-based Mac

"Safari that runs fine with 14.8 MB RAM on OS X PPC, will use 53.52 MB when being emulated via Rosetta on a MacIntel.

"So, if you move to MacIntel but still rely heavily on PPC-based applications, you rather get as much RAM as possible."

Link: Rosetta Likes RAM . . . a Lot!

Apple's Component Cost for New iMac

ExtremeTech's Mark Hachman reports:

"Apple Computer's hardware costs to create the new $1,299 dual-core Intel iMacs total about $898, according to analyst firm iSuppli, which released teardown results on Thursday.

"The firm opened up one of the new iMacs, which were officially announced at Apple's recent Macworld show, inventoried the contents, and came up with an estimated cost for the parts. The teardown did not include the mouse, keyboard, or other documentation included with the iMac, and not attempt to estimate Apple's cost of developing its operating system and related software."

Link: Analyst: What Apple Pays to Build the New iMacs

Core Duo's Errata List: 34 Known Problems reports:

" has just posted an article that's not a highly enjoyable read.

"Within, they observe that in the less than 20 days since the Intel Core Duo was officially released, Intel's Errata documentation for the processor already shows 34 known problems with the chip...."

Link: Core Duo's Errata List

Macintel Crosses a Broad Architectural Chasm's Scott M Fulton III reports:

"When Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented his company's new Intel Core Duo-based Macintosh computers at Macworld Expo in San Francisco..., behind him on the big screen were the imposing characters, 2 - 3x. According to company tests, Mac applications can run two to three times faster on a Core Duo-based Mac than on a PowerPC G5-based Mac. But Jobs was sure to predicate that remark with a word of both caution and fairness; he said those gains are realized when applications are produced for those processors using the best compilers available for each.

"For the Intel Core Duo, the compiler used for Apple's test was made by Intel, confirmed James Reinders, Intel's director of marketing for software development products, in an exclusive interview with TG Daily. IBM, Reinders said, made the compiler used for the G5 benchmarks.

"The shift in both hardware and software architecture to the Intel platform represents the second great exodus in the Macintosh's wandering, colorful history. The first came in 1994, about a decade after the Mac's initial introduction. At that time, under the stewardship of Michael Spindler, Apple successfully engineered a move away from the Motorola 680x0 platform to the RISC instruction set-based PowerPC platform, conceived along with Motorola and IBM. Being able to accept IBM - the former enemy - was made easier for Mac supporters with Motorola codeveloping the new processor, even though that company would later back away from the deal as it exited the CPU business altogether.

"This year's exodus from PowerPC (or Power, as IBM refers to it) to Intel's Core Duo requires the crossing of a much broader architectural chasm...."

Link: How Intel Expects Macintosh Software to Change

Intel, Micron Inside Apple's New iMac

EE Times' Mark LaPedus reports:

"Apple Computer Inc.'s first desktop PC based on Intel Corp.'s microprocessors also includes other devices and displays from ATI, LG.Philips, Maxtor and Samsung, according to iSuppli Corp.

"Sources also reportedly believe that the new Apple machine includes a CMOS image sensor from Micron Technology Inc. This enables the PC to support an integrated PC camera, which provides video conferencing and related functions, according to sources. Apple's so-called iSight camera is built into the thin bezel just above the display."

Link: Intel, Micron Inside Apple's New iMac

IBM to Update Notes for Tiger, Support Intel Macs

CRN's Barbara Darrow reports:

"IBM is ready to plant a big wet kiss on Apple Computer.

"At Lotusphere next week, the IBM Software Group is poised to announce updated Mac OS X support in the latest Notes client. In addition, the company will pledge big-time support for the new Intel-based Macs due later this year, sources said.

"IBM's Workplace Portal and Collaboration group, often known simply as Lotus, fields the Domino collaboration server, Notes client and Workplace portfolios.

"The older Notes 6.5 client supports Mac OS 10.3 but thus far the current Notes 7 client has not. While Macs comprise a small percentage of business desktops, their users constitute a very vocal and influential minority, solution providers said. 'Mac support for Lotus is a check-box item,' said Jim Murphy, practice manager for Strategic Computer Solutions, a Syracuse, NY-based IBM partner. 'We have a lot of healthcare customers and maybe 1 percent of a company's research department is on Macs but they have 99 percent of the influence.'"

Link: IBM Software Arm to Update Support for Mac OS X, Pledge Support for Intel Macs

Roland Supports Intel-based Macs

PR: Roland has announced compatible drivers for the recently announced Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro. Along with Roland/BOSS/EDIROL branded products, Roland has been developing Intel-ready USB drivers months in advance of the release of Apple's Intel Macs.

Roland developed and tested new USB drivers with OS X on Apple's Intel Developer Kit. Recent months of testing results have been stable with no problems. These drivers are now in final stages of qualification with the new iMac and MacBook Pro. When these final tests are completed, drivers will be released on the Roland web site.

In addition, FireWire Audio class drivers that EDIROL FA-66 and FA-101 use and USB mass storage drivers that Roland Fantom-X and other Roland/BOSS/EDIROL products use are already included and fully supported on Intel-based Macs.

Roland is committed to offering the latest and most robust driver technologies. Musicians and producers can be confident using Roland/BOSS/EDIROL products connected to Apple's Intel-based Macintosh computers.

Roland is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of electronic musical instruments, professional audio equipment, multimedia products, and music accessories.

Link: Roland


No Classic Support on Intel-based Macs

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"Classic applications do not work on Intel processor-based Macs.

"For best results using Mac OS X, upgrade your Mac OS 9 applications to a Mac OS X version. Check with the manufacturers for more information."

Link: Intel-Based Macs: Do Classic Applications Work?

Startup Key Combinations for Intel-based Macs

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

These are the startup key combinations you can use on Intel-based Macs:

Keystroke Description

  • Press C during startup Start up from a bootable CD or DVD, such as the Mac OS X Install disc that came with the computer.
  • Press D during startup Start up in Apple Hardware Test (AHT), if the Install DVD 1 is in the computer.
  • Press Option-Command-P-R until you hear two beeps. Reset NVRAM
  • Press Option during startup Starts into Startup Manager, where you can select a Mac OS X volume to start from. Note: Press N to make the the first bootable Network volume appear as well.
  • Press Eject, F12, or hold the mouse button Ejects any removable media, such as an optical disc.
  • Press N during startup Attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot).
  • Press T during startup Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode.
  • Press Shift during startup Start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items.
  • Press Command-V during startup Start up in Verbose mode.
  • Press Command-S during startup Start up in Single-User mode.
  • Press Option-N during startup Start from a NetBoot server using the default boot image.
Link: Startup Key Combinations for Intel-based Macs

Other Intel News

Business Desktops Slow to Adopt Dual Cores

eWeek's John G Spooner reports:

"Business desktops are bringing up the rear in the dual-core processor transition.

"The deskbound business machines, which are usually architected to offer businesses stability versus providing them with new technology, won't move en masse to chips such as Intel's new Pentium D 900 until at least the second half of this year, the chip maker predicts.

"Whereas Intel's dual-core chips now come in some mainstream consumer desktops and earlier this month began selling in notebooks, following the introduction of its Core processor, they mainly populate corporate workstations."

Link: Business Desktops Slow to Adopt Dual Cores

Intel Stuns Market with Q4 Sales Miss

The Register's Ashlee Vance reports:

"Lower than expected PC chip sales forced Intel into a rare revenue miss during its fourth quarter. Investors then punished the chip-maker in the after-hours markets, sending Intel shares down as much as 10 per cent.

"Intel's Q4 revenue rose six per cent to $10.2bn. That figure, however, fell below a previous forecast provided by the company of fourth-quarter revenue between $10.4bn and $10.6bn. Such a miss indicates that Intel unexpectedly saw sales drop off at the tail end of the fourth quarter....

"In the first quarter of 2006, Intel expects to pull in between $9.1bn and $9.7bn. For the full year, Intel is looking for revenue to rise between six per cent and nine per cent. Despite winning Apple's 'massive' computer business, Intel does not appear to be feeling terribly bullish about the year to come."

Link: Intel Stuns Market with Q4 Sales Miss

Intel's 2005 Revenue Undercuts Expectations

eWeek's John G Spooner reports:

"The problem of chip-set sales haunted Intel Corp. during the fourth quarter.

"Despite putting out record shipments of desktop, notebook and server processors during the fourth quarter, the Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker said supply problems, something it's been grappling with all year, affected its ability to get its desktop chips into PCs."

Link: Intel's 2005 Revenue Undercuts Expectations

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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