Originally posted by grad student
i guess i always figured that this was obvious, but maybe its not... perhaps the biggest cultural impact to mac users due to the intel switch is: macworld/WWDC will no longer be the launching points for huge mac introductions... or at least, the difference between generations of macs probably wont be as big. CPU's from intel come on a schedule that is fairly known, and they get updated more frequently than PPC's. Apple wont be able to surprise us with G6 whatever announcements at trade shows anymore, and, apple will have to update/upgrade their products more frequently to keep up with Wintel boxes. will frequent updates make "generational" updates to macs seem less significant? will macs now develop at a steady rate instead of the big bang releases of macworld style events? will this kill some of the anticipation/mystique of the mac culture/cult? if we dont need to wait until a show for our mac fix - will we still be addicts?
History shows us that Apple will release products on their own timeline. Back in the days of clones Power Computing almost always beat Apple to the punch with the latest processors by at least a few weeks if I remember correctly. They were a smaller, more nimble company than Apple was at the time, and back then Apple almost never updated computer lines outside of trade shows.
Apple has taken great strides in breaking that mold, but if you look at the G4 processor's available to the upgrade (up to 2 Ghz) manufacturers then you can plainly see that Apple is not using the latest and greatest G4's in their product line, and in most cases there is really still room to grow with the existing G4's. It is only on the top end PowerBook models that have limited growth from 1.67 to around 1.8 Ghz (assuming that the 2Ghz is probably a bit overclocked and too hot to run in a laptop, though even the 1.8 might be too hot for a laptop).
I'm sure that they have some logic to their offerings, and there will be more pressure for Apple to stay current with the industry on speeds, but remember that Apple will be buying chips in large numbers, and this could slow down new releases as they try to use up old stock of chips before releasing a new model.