Originally posted by PB
The problem I see is marketing, the impressions war. I think Apple is in vital need to show that they are able to innovate and lead the industry. Their place in this market is of low tolerance in such "mistakes".
And I am wondering: where is IBM's expertise in dual core designs? What happened in the meantime? It is sad, to say the least, to have on your side the only big chip designer and producer, with long experience in dual core designs, manufacture for you a processor (G5) coming already from a dual core server chip (Power4), and nevertheless join (too?) late the dual core party. If the TS rumor is proved to be true, we have to recognise that this would be a harsh slap in the face for Apple and, mostly, IBM.
I agree to an extent. But it's not all that desperate. Apple has survived much worse. As for adopting things like PCIe, etc. Apple has to be very careful not to fracture their market too much. Given how few PMacs they sell in general, they can't be too bleeding edge because few manufacturers will earn anything from making a product for a fraction (new PMacs) of a fraction (the PMacs) of a fraction (the Mac market as a whole) of the market. Frustrating perhaps, but that's the niche we're in.
Apple's CPU growth opportunity right now is with the the iMac and the mini, and lifestyle accessories like iPod, Airport Express, Bluetooth phones, movie making, music making, digital music dloads, Blu-ray/HDDVD, and (perhaps) the long awaited (and prematurely hyped) golden convergence. And that's where I think we'll see real "innovation." (I'm particularly excited about the mini becoming an entertainment media server--a kicka$$ BT remote, plus Blu-ray/HDDVD player/burner, plus HD encoding, plus a nice HDTV, plus a surround sound system would rock.)
As for IBM's expertise in dual-core design and production. Yeah, it's a bit sad. But the G5 has increased leaps beyond the P4 in the same timeframe. If we have to wait a few months for volume shipment of something that the PC world will only see trickle amounts of in the meantime, then...whatever. It's not really the end of the world for Apple. If we survived Moto, then we can survive pretty much anything. IBM has their own problems and Apple is a small--but important--concern for them. If the migration to 90nm and dual core hit a small (but larger than expected) speed bump, then at least we can say with pride that we will have the smoothest 32- to 64-bit transition imaginable (while the PC world is still wondering where it's going), not to mention the fact that our OS of choice is now something like 2 generations ahead of Windows.
Does it suck that Doom3 is barely playable on a $3000 Apple rig, while it's smooth as silk on a $1500 Wintel box? For some, maybe. In terms of bragging right, definitely. (But we've all known that gaming has been less-than-ideal on the Mac for going on 7 years.)
I'm at the point where I've faced up to the fact that the Mac market simply cannot compete with the vast amounts of capital that Intel has to throw at any given problem. And even when it falls flat on its face, as with the Itanic disaster, it has enough clout and money to just shrug it off, when a similar move would spell certain doom for a smaller company. The only way this will change is with increased market share. At this point, Apple's intelligence, foresight, and flexibility have allowed it to keep pace. If it doubles or triples its market share, and is able to throw more money at problems (and convince others like IBM to take greater risks for that market), then who knows what can happen.
Until then, I'm getting tons done on my four-year-old Quicksilver, and impressing the crap out of my coworkers and family with homemade DVDs, slideshows, GB songs, etc. When they come over to see me work, every single one does a double-take when I hit Expose. (I sometimes just do it on purpose to see their reactions.) And several members of my wife's family are possible converts on the strength of iChat AV/iSight and iMovie/iDVD. They could really give a rat's a$$ about dual-core chips, PCIe, and the like. Their biggest excitement in terms of computers is when AOL releases new emoticons, and their biggest computer headache is--bar none--viruses. (The main obstacle is that my step-father-in-law's favorite golf game isn't on the Mac...
By the time the fall semester starts, this crisis too shall have passed. And hopefully, a bunch of iPod-using Wintel converts will wonder what the heck we were worried about.