Apple seen merging iOS, Mac OS X with custom A6 chip in 2012

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform for applications and cloud services as soon as next year starting with the MacBook Air, one Wall Street analyst believes.



Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co. said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he sees such a transition possible with a new MacBook Air running Apple's custom next-generation "A6" processor. The theory, first reported on by Barron's, would have a new iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air all running the A6 in 2012.



"We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength," Misek wrote.



For Apple's more traditional and more powerful computers, like the MacBook Pro and Mac desktops, the analyst sees Apple sticking with Intel processors and the current Mac OS X software. But by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad.



"Our preliminary view is that Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem's needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices," he wrote. "When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture."



Merging the iOS and Mac OS X platforms would allow users to have content be available and optimized on an even wider range of devices, Misek believes. He sees this strategy being more difficult for Apple to achieve if the company continues to keep its Mac and iOS operating systems separate.



Rumors of an ARM-based MacBook Air are not new. In May, one report claimed that Apple had built a test notebook featuring the same low-power A5 processor found in the iPad 2. The report, which came from Japan, suggested that Apple officials were impressed by the results of the experiment.







That same month, a separate report claimed that Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in its line of Macs and adopt the ARM architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad. That rumor suggested Apple wanted to transition to ARM processors "as soon as possible," likely when 64-bit variations become available at the end of 2012 or by early 2013.



Similarly, Misek sees Apple sticking with Intel processors in its MacBook Pro and Mac desktop lineup for the 64-bit support and compatibility offered by the traditional CPUs.



Apple has boasted that its thin-and-light MacBook Air has design elements taken from its wildly popular iPad tablet, including instant-on functionality. And Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, adds features first introduced on the iPad and iPhone, including Launchpad, a home screen for applications; a Mac-specific App Store; full-screen applications; and new multi-touch gestures.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 186
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Dum da dum dum...
  • Reply 2 of 186
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member
    Don't like this iOS merging business!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform for applications and cloud services as soon as next year starting with the MacBook Air, one Wall Street analyst believes.



    Peter Misek with Jefferies & Co. said in a note to investors on Wednesday that he sees such a transition possible with a new MacBook Air running Apple's custom next-generation "A6" processor. The theory, first reported on by Barron's, would have a new iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air all running the A6 in 2012.



    "We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength," Misek wrote.



    For Apple's more traditional and more powerful computers, like the MacBook Pro and Mac desktops, the analyst sees Apple sticking with Intel processors and the current Mac OS X software. But by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad.



    Merging the iOS and Mac OS X platforms would allow users to have content be available and optimized on an even wider range of devices, Misek believes. He sees this strategy being more difficult for Apple to achieve if the company continues to keep its Mac and iOS operating systems separate.



    Rumors of an ARM-based MacBook Air are not new. In May, one report claimed that Apple had built a test notebook featuring the same low-power A5 processor found in the iPad 2. The report, which came from Japan, suggested that Apple officials were impressed by the results of the experiment.







    That same month, a separate report claimed that Apple plans to ditch Intel processors in its line of Macs and adopt the ARM architecture that powers the iPhone and iPad. That rumor suggested Apple wanted to transition to ARM processors "as soon as possible," likely when 64-bit variations become available at the end of 2012 or by early 2013.



    Similarly, Misek sees Apple sticking with Intel processors in its MacBook Pro and Mac desktop lineup for the 64-bit support and compatibility offered by the traditional CPUs.



    Apple has boasted that its thin-and-light MacBook Air has design elements taken from its wildly popular iPad tablet, including instant-on functionality. And Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, adds features first introduced on the iPad and iPhone, including Launchpad, a home screen for applications; a Mac-specific App Store; full-screen applications; and new multi-touch gestures.



  • Reply 3 of 186
    tbstephtbsteph Posts: 83member
    And people have been panning Windows 8 for merging traditional Windows with touch screen capabilities claiming it can't be done successfully.
  • Reply 4 of 186
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,854member
    Apple could still make software available to both platforms without needing to merge the entire OS. They already have the technology in place to do this; universal binary support and specific UI for appropriate devices and views.



    They could create one version of Pages or Numbers that would work across all their devices. There is absolutely no need to merge iOS and Mac OS X to do this.
  • Reply 5 of 186
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    I read this report. I don't think this guy gets Apple. What is the product? Who is the audience?
  • Reply 6 of 186
    That be a pretty substantial jump in processing power for just one year from the a5 to something competitive with the core i5. I don't see it unless it's a new product. Plus, there's really no reason to think a MacBook air would be more productive using ios6 than lion or that laptops will suddenly become comfortable to use as touch screens. Why would apple axe their most popular computer completely to make it significantly slower, less ergonomic, and less powerful?
  • Reply 7 of 186
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    I read this report. I don't think this guy gets Apple. What is the product? Who is the audience?



    He doesn't outline anything, so these are valid questions.



    But a fully-multitouch desktop OS can easily be done. Its audience is everyone. It's the replacement of the mouse.
  • Reply 8 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tbsteph View Post


    And people have been panning Windows 8 for merging traditional Windows with touch screen capabilities claiming it can't be done successfully.



    Why do people assume a merger of iOS and OS X should automatically entail identical UIs? An OS is a lot more than the user interface - they can have a single OS with the same kernel, device drivers, file system, development environment, etc., with a different style of UI depending on device, in very much the exact same way that iOS handles both iPhone and iPad now. There's no reason they can't extend the idea of a universal iOS application to have a different UI for mouse/keyboard interactions too.
  • Reply 9 of 186
    cgrisarcgrisar Posts: 54member
    I guess I, like many others, can wait another year before switching my Intel iMac and iPhone 3GS to a newer model.
  • Reply 10 of 186
    This has been pretty obvious, considering some of the interface changes they made to Lion. LaunchPad is one of them, but more subtle changes like this one seen in the toolbar of the following image make this upcoming change more apparent. Notice how the display options in the toolbar look like a slider switch that could be manipulated with a finger by touching.



  • Reply 11 of 186
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by randallking View Post


    Notice how the display options in the toolbar look like a slider switch that could be manipulated with a finger by touching.



    Note: LOOKED. Apple changed that months ago.
  • Reply 12 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple is looking to merge its iOS and Mac OS X operating systems into one unified platform... by 2016, he sees all of Apple's Mac devices running on an ARM-based processor like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad...



    More like 2020 for the culmination of these trends, and the idea that something will be running OS X on ARM next year is just silly.



    And is it really worthwhile at all to speculate about something that might happen in the computer industry 10 years or more from now? No one in 1999 had any idea what the computer landscape of today would look like although I'm sure you could find lots of folks back then who would tell you they did.



    Try telling anyone even five years ago that Apple would turn out to be the biggest deal on the planet, that an ARM based processor would be running touch-based mobile computers in everyone's pocket and that Microsoft and Nokia would be on the skids and they would have laughed in your face.
  • Reply 13 of 186
    cxc273cxc273 Posts: 46member
    Yes, because Wall Street analysts always get things right.



    iOS and OS X have started to share similar features and maybe down the road the two may eventually merge, but I don't see it happening so quickly.



    A unified platform sounds great on paper, but at this point in time it simply doesn't work. Microsoft failed by trying to shove Windows into tablets and smartphones. The user experience and expectations on those devices are just too different from the traditional desktop. And though I don't have any first-hand experience with Android, I think that platform's going through some growing pains as it tries to service both tablets and smartphones.
  • Reply 14 of 186
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,127member
    I could see this working in a niche product, but for many users Intel CPU's are a must. The virtulisation market is getting bigger all the time.
  • Reply 15 of 186
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    Why do people assume a merger of iOS and OS X should automatically entail identical UIs?



    Bingo. It's inevitable that Apple will merge the two OSes. Microsoft will try, but their early attempts (skinning Windows7 with touch UI) does not seem like they're taking it very seriously.
  • Reply 16 of 186
    luisdiasluisdias Posts: 277member
    This is the most stupid thing I heard all day. I guess they have to come up with something to keep the laughter-of-the-day.



    No, iOS won't "fuse" with Mac OS next year.



    It's not period. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.
  • Reply 17 of 186
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post


    And anyone who thinks otherwise is just being silly, ignorant or retarded.



    That's called 'being an analyst'.
  • Reply 18 of 186
    kerrybkerryb Posts: 270member
    I've been using Lion for a week or two now and I love a lot of the changes in the GUI many of which are subtle and elegant. However some of the iOS implementation such as Launch pad has no place in my daily routine. I really don't find Launch pad a shortcut and more convenient way to my apps, a click on the Applications folder is not that difficult and it offers me more sorting options. Mission Control most likely has is fans but again I don't find myself having any need to run that many windows and apps at the same time. I never used Spaces in Snow Leopard either. I really enjoy my iOS devices but even using Pages and Numbers is a clumsy at best solution. If Apple intends on returning to a "one OS fits all" company I predict merging OSX with iOS will be a bigger challenge than the transition from Classic Mac to Mac OS X. As always it will be interesting to see what develops.
  • Reply 19 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    I could see this working in a niche product, but for many users Intel CPU's are a must. The virtulisation market is getting bigger all the time.



    Exactly - if Apple goes this route, I sure hope Microsoft Windows is irrelevant by 2016, because otherwise those of us who rely on running it in a VM are going to be displeased.
  • Reply 20 of 186
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post


    Exactly - if Apple goes this route, I sure hope Microsoft Windows is irrelevant by 2016, because otherwise those of us who rely on running it in a VM are going to be displeased.



    You're implying there won't be X86 emulators for ARM processors in 2016 when they exist now.
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