Apple's iPad Pro & powerful A9X CPU pose threat to Intel, Cowen says

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  • Reply 101 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    The main reason for abandonning Intel is to further create a barrier to entry for competitors. By integrating hw/sw they up the performance and lower the cost. That means nobody can touch them (unless they overbuild seriously and cut their margins).


    Personally, I don't believe Apple will abandon Intel in the foreseeable.  There are advantages to keeping the entire line on one architecture which counterbalance the savings that can be had by offering a Macbook for $200 cheaper.  There are advantages to being able to demonstrate that Apple could do that an anytime as well..... negotiations tend to be more beneficial if you have something in your arsenal as a threat -- implied or direct.   Intel has different architectures priced at different markets.  Atom is priced at the tablet market (around $30), Core-M priced at the laptop market ($290).  If the tablet processors that Apple have and the market generally can produce are closer to the price point of the Atom then for Intel to compete they have to move the Core-M to that price point (assuming they can - depends on size of the chip and the ratio of chips per).    I don't think Apple is looking to change part of their line to their own chips just for the heck of it, but being able to demonstrate a Macbook running on an A9X or A10X has to make Intel more willing to negotiate with Apple on better terms.  The Core-M is sufficient for the vast majority average users, and now the ARM processors are competitive in the bulk of the device market -- that has to be a major threat that Intel has to take seriously and adjust to or they could find not only Apple jumping but Chromebooks and eventually Microsoft having to also re-enter the market with a more successful option....   Intel x86 was never the best, but they were earlier than better alternatives and have been agile enough to protect their initial dominance....  and I don't think that has changed.  Financial analysts though are underestimating the effect of this new competition to Intel's livelihood 2+ years down the road.  Intel does not have to worry about ARM at the top end of their market for the foreseeable future, but then there are other threats at that end as well.  

  • Reply 102 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macplusplus View Post

     



    Ask Apple to develop voice interaction, 3D gesture interaction, natural language processing and alike. Keyboards are done, they cannot be developed further. I understand the needs of a writer, just use dictation, if Apple's own dictation comes short then buy a professional package and a dedicated microphone if you make a living with writing. There is no point to discuss keyboard functionality on an iPad, use a laptop if your job depends on keyboard.


     

    Voice interaction is hamstrung by the stupidity of the device that they are communicating with.  It is like 10+ years until Machine Learning / AI will advance enough where talking to the computer is as natural as talking to an executive assistant....  it will happen, but it is far from there yet.

  • Reply 103 of 155
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

     

    Voice interaction is hamstrung by the stupidity of the device that they are communicating with.  It is like 10+ years until Machine Learning / AI will advance enough where talking to the computer is as natural as talking to an executive assistant....  it will happen, but it is far from there yet.




    Voice interaction is crucial to a truly portable device like iPhone or iPad, you cannot stop walking to do "data entry". Talking in a specific manner to do job is enough, and some refined logic from the device is welcome, no intelligence is needed to achieve that level of interaction.

     

    I don't believe in machine intelligence in even several orders of magnitude of 10+ years: the required information complexity is so huge that it wouldn't fit in silicon chips, only a biological entity can handle such a complexity.

  • Reply 104 of 155
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

    Personally, I don't believe Apple will abandon Intel in the foreseeable.  There are advantages to keeping the entire line on one architecture which counterbalance the savings that can be had by offering a Macbook for $200 cheaper.  


     

    The clock is ticking on Intel.  Their product delays alone are enough for Apple to want to dump them.  Ideally, I think Apple wants the processor to be as interchangeable as any component in their products.  I think the timetable is dependent on how much of a priority this is for Apple.

  • Reply 105 of 155
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,127member
    bkkcanuck wrote: »
    NO, the foundations are already being laid so that applications / app store is seamless whether it is ARM based on Intel based.  There will be no need for Rosetta.  The difference is the whole development environment was moved to work on top of LLVM and the compilers generate a portable "binary code / assembly code" which then is made runnable on an ARM or Intel.   What Apple does not want to do is confuse users using Macs like Microsoft did with Windows RT.  Once all the pieces are in place the user will not have to be aware or care if they are running intel or arm.  Developers will submit their applications to the app store in bitcode (LLVM transportable) and then the user buys the application and installs it and it is "compiled/assembled down" to Intel or ARM native executables.... all nice and slim.  
    So emulating Android's performance-hindering local AOT compilation model is the way forward? I'd say they're more likely to implement another universal binary system perhaps with a store-level code portability option for lazy developers.
  • Reply 106 of 155
    mcdave wrote: »
    So emulating Android's performance-hindering local AOT compilation model is the way forward? I'd say they're more likely to implement another universal binary system perhaps with a store-level code portability option for lazy developers.

    1) With the app slicing and Bitcode additions I think AoT seems very likely.

    2) We also need to consider how Apple might want to take advantage of their iOS-based dominance when trying to get more converts to their traditional "PC" line of computers. One solution may be to allow only App Store apps, a reduction of Finder use, and perhaps even the removal of Terminal. This could easily be achieved on Mac OS X to make it a streamlined notebook or desktop OS while keeping the heart of the "lightweight pickup truck" intact. I honestly don't expect anything radical like this until such time as Apple is ready to unveil OS 11 as that would be a good demarcation point for the future of desktop computing. Note: This does not mean that anything you do with OS X today would go away from their Pro line of traditional computers.
  • Reply 107 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by McDave View Post





    So emulating Android's performance-hindering local AOT compilation model is the way forward? I'd say they're more likely to implement another universal binary system perhaps with a store-level code portability option for lazy developers.

     

    LLVM bytecode is not similar to Java/Android type byte code.  Android bytecode is tokenized run everywhere java language application code.  LLVM bitcode is basically slightly removed assembly language level.  Where the code is JMP <address> which translates into something like hex 05 <address> on one processor and <06> <address> on another processor.  Currently all application code is compiled down to LLVM bitcode (C, C++, Swift, and Objective-C and another LLVM bitcode translator/compiler tranlates it into ARM or Intel x86 assembly code.  It is already going through this stage.  The difference is that when you submit an application to the store you will submit both the binary code and the bitcode.  When a user running an ARM based App store requests an application the app store will download the ARM binary, when it is intel it is Intel binary.  As improvements in optimization in the LLVM -> binary the app store will generate updated binary code - without the intervention of the developer (they have already stated that).   Since the bitcode is so close to the machine code, and the application has already been linked etc. the speed to translate the code from LLVM to binary easy and fast.  In both cases the application code whether the LLVM -> assembly level is done at the App store or on the developers machine -- the performance of the application is exactly the same.   Apple switched to the C-lang compiler probably 8 or so years ago - so if there were a performance penalty to be had .... you would already be suffering from it.

  • Reply 108 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by portcity View Post



    The A9x is a great mobile processor for tablets, but there is a reason why Apple didn't put it in a MacBook. These benchmarks are nothing new to Apple, as they more then likely tested both the A9x and Intel Core M in the new MacBook. Ultimately the Intel chip won out and ran OS X more effectively. Believe me, if Apple could save money by putting an A series chip in a laptop or desktop they would do it.



    The A9X chip didn't exist when the MacBook was released.  A MacBook would need a variant of the A9X with 8 gigs of RAM instead of 4.  If they could knock 20% off of the price, have better performance, maintain their margins, and sell 40% more MacBooks, that's a clear win.

  • Reply 109 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

     

    LLVM bytecode is not similar to Java/Android type byte code.  Android bytecode is tokenized run everywhere java language application code.  LLVM bitcode is basically slightly removed assembly language level.  Where the code is JMP <address> which translates into something like hex 05 <address> on one processor and <06> <address> on another processor.  Currently all application code is compiled down to LLVM bitcode (C, C++, Swift, and Objective-C and another LLVM bitcode translator/compiler tranlates it into ARM or Intel x86 assembly code.  It is already going through this stage.  The difference is that when you submit an application to the store you will submit both the binary code and the bitcode.  When a user running an ARM based App store requests an application the app store will download the ARM binary, when it is intel it is Intel binary.  As improvements in optimization in the LLVM -> binary the app store will generate updated binary code - without the intervention of the developer (they have already stated that).   Since the bitcode is so close to the machine code, and the application has already been linked etc. the speed to translate the code from LLVM to binary easy and fast.  In both cases the application code whether the LLVM -> assembly level is done at the App store or on the developers machine -- the performance of the application is exactly the same.   Apple switched to the C-lang compiler probably 8 or so years ago - so if there were a performance penalty to be had .... you would already be suffering from it.




    There's a little bit more than that.  The LLVM -> machine code transition done at the app store can also optimize the code to the specific CPU it's being installed on, including optimizing for processors that didn't exist when the developer submitted their code.

  • Reply 110 of 155
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    1) With the app slicing and Bitcode additions I think AoT seems very likely.



    2) We also need to consider how Apple might want to take advantage of their iOS-based dominance when trying to get more converts to their traditional "PC" line of computers. One solution may be to allow only App Store apps, a reduction of Finder use, and perhaps even the removal of Terminal. This could easily be achieved on Mac OS X to make it a streamlined notebook or desktop OS while keeping the heart of the "lightweight pickup truck" intact. I honestly don't expect anything radical like this until such time as Apple is ready to unveil OS 11 as that would be a good demarcation point for the future of desktop computing. Note: This does not mean that anything you do with OS X today would go away from their Pro line of traditional computers.

    "This could easily be achieved on Mac OS X to make it a streamlined notebook or desktop OS while keeping the heart of the "lightweight pickup truck" intact."

     

    What would be the market for such a product? Couldn't the iPad Pro fill the void for someone looking at such a product?  Tim Cook did say "iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing".  Having a "streamlined Mac" would be back tracking, wouldn't it?

  • Reply 111 of 155
    canukstorm wrote: »
    What would be the market for such a product? Couldn't the iPad Pro fill the void for someone looking at such a product?  Tim Cook did say "iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing".  Having a "streamlined Mac" would be back tracking, wouldn't it?

    Anyone that still wants or needs a truck, but doesn't need an overpowered truck. The iPad Pro is still very much a car, even if it's a large car. Perhaps we could even call the iPad Pro an SUV because it has such a powerful chassis.
  • Reply 112 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Anyone that still wants or needs a truck, but doesn't need an overpowered truck. The iPad Pro is still very much a car, even if it's a large car. Perhaps we could even call the iPad Pro an SUV because it has such a powerful chassis.

    I just think, with Tim Cook mentioning in his recent media interviews that the iPad Pro replaces the laptop / desktop for many people (not everyone), he'd be contradicting himself.

  • Reply 113 of 155
    canukstorm wrote: »
    I just think, with Tim Cook mentioning in his recent media interviews that the iPad Pro replaces the laptop / desktop for many people (not everyone), he'd be contradicting himself.

    The world is not binary. He does not contradict himself at all. Cook did not say that no one needs a traditional computer. His words are the same as Jobs and many others since 2010 when the iPad was first announced. It does become the primary computer for a large number of people. This has been demonstrated every year since it was released. That doesn't mean everyone will fit into that category, and clearly no one is saying that Macs are going away since Xcode is still only on the Mac and there no way that could be an IOS-only app at this point. I need a truck for what I do, and not even a light truck, unless it's a secondary vehicle, but most people just need a car. That's not going to change.
  • Reply 114 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post

     

    I just think, with Tim Cook mentioning in his recent media interviews that the iPad Pro replaces the laptop / desktop for many people (not everyone), he'd be contradicting himself.


    Actually he said it would replace PCs - Apple does not consider the Mac to be a PC.

     

    It does replace the laptop or desktop for many people.  Phones replace that function for many people here.  It really depends on what your use case is.  A larger phone replaced the tablet for some people.  A tablet will replace a laptop for some people.  A Macbook 12" will replace a tablet for some people, etc.

  • Reply 115 of 155

    OT a bit, I can just see Microsofts response to the Apple TV.... the 3 in 1 Surface TV Pro 1.

  • Reply 116 of 155
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Why assume there will be any emulation at all? Do you think those buying a low-end traditional "PC" from Apple require Adobe's suite of apps or do you think they'll be fine with Preview to read PDFs? I'm guessing the former.

    Again, why assume that a low-end traditional "PC" from Apple requires a dual-boot solution to make a sale. If a buyer really requires this then they can get one of the many other Macs out there, but this is not the norm. Neither are VMs for low-end users.



    We don't need the Surface/Surface RT mixup coming to the Mac and having to explain the difference to Mac users.

  • Reply 117 of 155
    haggar wrote: »

    We don't need the Surface/Surface RT mixup coming to the Mac and having to explain the difference to Mac users.

    Then it's good that I made no mention to the crap that MS pulled when trying to first launch their Surface products.
  • Reply 118 of 155
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sennen View Post

     



    That is something that can be easily addressed over time. His best point was that ergonomically it is a poor experience to have to raise your arm and reach out and touch an upright computer screen, hence we haven't seen touchscreen Macs and why I think macOS and iOS convergence will remain limited.


     

    If that is the only reason for not having a touchscreen Mac, then it is a weak one.  The ergonomic argument can be just as "easily addressed" the same way some of us tell people how to deal with the glossy screen glare -- you're positioning the screen wrong.  For the people who are so personally offended by the mere possibility of a Mac doing something when the screen is touched, I'm sure Apple could add a setting in OS X to turn off touch input.  And knowing Apple, they would probably bury it somewhere in Accessibility preferences.

  • Reply 119 of 155
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    The world is not binary. He does not contradict himself at all. Cook did not say that no one needs a traditional computer. His words are the same as Jobs and many others since 2010 when the iPad was first announced. It does become the primary computer for a large number of people. This has been demonstrated every year since it was released. That doesn't mean everyone will fit into that category, and clearly no one is saying that Macs are going away since Xcode is still only on the Mac and there no way that could be an IOS-only app at this point. I need a truck for what I do, and not even a light truck, unless it's a secondary vehicle, but most people just need a car. That's not going to change.

    "Cook did not say that no one needs a traditional computer." :  Yes, I agree with this.  And this could be fulfilled very well by current Macs / OSX.

     

    But in your previous post, you were suggesting Apple may want to make a Mac with a "streamlined" version of OSX that only ran apps from the Mac App Store (for argument sake, we'll call this version of OSX, iOSX).  In this scenario, you would have;

     

    iPhone / iPad - iOS

    "Streamlined" Mac - iOSX

    Mac - full OSX

     

    I'm not seeing the benefit / need of a Mac running a streamlined OSX, since 1) it would add confusion and 2) the iPad Pro can easily fill that void.  And those who feel they need a traditional computer / laptop, there's always the MB / MBA / MBP

  • Reply 120 of 155
    canukstorm wrote: »
    "Cook did not say that no one needs a traditional computer." :  Yes, I agree with this.  And this could be fulfilled very well by current Macs / OSX.

    But in your previous post, you were suggesting Apple may want to make a Mac with a "streamlined" version of OSX that only ran apps from the Mac App Store (for argument sake, we'll call this version of OSX, iOSX).  In this scenario, you would have;

    iPhone / iPad - iOS
    "Streamlined" Mac - iOSX
    Mac - full OSX

    I'm not seeing the benefit / need of a Mac running a streamlined OSX, since 1) it would add confusion and 2) the iPad Pro can easily fill that void.  And those who feel they need a traditional computer / laptop, there's always the MB / MBA / MBP

    Why are you making this into a different OS? This is no more a different OS than Mac OS X on the Mac Pro having different drivers than Mac OS X on the MBA. This hypothetical OS 11 would simply be Apple next step in making the platform palpable to more users. Even today, with those that grew up using the traditional "PC", the common user doesn't understand most of what is in their UI. They clump all their files all over the place, and they never use the command line. This is why the Mac App Store, which was seen as such a horrible idea when it was first presented—and when I presented the idea here back in 2008—is such a benefit for the average user. Mac OS will advance and that advancement will likely come by continuing to borrow aspects of iOS that make it better for users as a whole. This likely a more secure back-end and a more limited space in which users can dump files willy nilly. Meta data-based file storage, like how iTunes works, is likely how this will go.
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