Stop panicking about Apple's rumored switch from Intel to its own chips in the Mac

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  • Reply 101 of 246
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,433member
    melgross said:
    MmmDee said:
    Awaiting the first anti-trust/monopoly lawsuit that Apple has yet to experience. Once Apple owns all the hardware and all the software running on their products, continuing their closed "ecosystem", the legal woes and end-of-product nightmare will begin. What a bad idea... I'm definitely not going down this path of self-destruction, been there, done that. Pity some businesses don't learn from history and are therefore doomed to repeat mistakes. More temporary profit for Apple, less choices for consumers.
    No, that’s not true. Monopoly doesn’t work that way. Apple would need to constitute a major majority of computers first. Even adding iPad in, that wouldn’t come close. Including the iPhone wouldn’t count, because they’re in a different category. If what you said were true, then Google should have already had their search declared a monopoly, and Android. Microsoft would have had Office called a monopoly, because it constitutes 95% of all office software.

    despite the nonsense we get from ignorant Android users, iOS isn’t closed any more than Android is. In fact, if we look at an OS ecosystem properly, and consider that software availability is the major measure of closed vs open, we’d see that iOS has far more diversity than does Android. Just because several manufacturers make Android phones, and are allowed to skin them doesn’t mean that it’s more open. If Apple had only its own software, only then could it really be called closed.
    Size doesn't always matter :)  I worked for IBM when they had 92% of the maimframe computer market.  They were deemed not a monopoly because their success was due to superior products, marketing and support.
  • Reply 102 of 246
    Soli said:
    . . .


    You really could have gone with Carry ARM for the terrible, terrible pun!  :D
    Soli
  • Reply 103 of 246
    morkymorky Posts: 170member
    Soli said:
    . . .


    Ask me what F times 9 is. It's fleventy-five.
  • Reply 104 of 246
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,512member
    wizard69 said:
    nunzy said:
    Will this be a step towards uniting iOS and OSX?
    Lets hope not!   If you look at these two as tools they are about as different as a lathe and a table saw.   Both iOS and Mac OS are tools that allow users to get work done in different ways.  

    While i can see both OS's adopting features of the other (actually has been happening for some time) i dont see an integrated OS being a huge win for either user base.   Rather an integrated OS would be more cumbersome for both.  

    Rather i see Apple coming up with an API that makes dupporting users on both systems much easier.  Frankly there is much that Apple could do to integrate  the users machine but kee them ditinct.  Some of this is already done through iCloud but that is a bit of a joke.   

    In any event interesting times ahead.  Maybe in time i wont be pissed with Apple and their Mac division.  
    I don’t agree. People seem to think that having more means more complexity in use, but that isn’t necessarily true. It would depend on how Apple does it. For example, people were complaining that adding the windowing portion to iOS would make it more difficult for those who didn’t want to use it. But did it? No, it did not. If you don’t want to use it, you wouldn’t even know it was there. Same thing with the evolving file system. If you have no interest in it, don’t open up “Files”. There! Solved.

    same here, I’d like the opportunity to use iOS iPad apps on my Mac. If I could do so with a mouse, and other keyboard shortcuts, that would be great. I can’t imagine anyone saying that it wouldn’t be a good thing. And you know what, realistically, if you can run the software from two OSs on each other’s machine, they have effectively become the same OS. I would think that developers would like that too.not having to develop, and maintain two separate versions would save them time and money.
  • Reply 105 of 246
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,512member

    Soli said:
    knowitall said:
    I suspect porting Xcode to iOS isn't easy, 12” is very little screen estate for such a program.
    There are MacBooks with the same size screen.
    Running Xcode on a MacBook is only an option because it's running macOS, not because it's an ideal display size.
    That’s true. But for convenience sake, running it on the iPad screen would be a good thing. More options are always better than fewer options.
  • Reply 106 of 246
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,012member
    Soli said:
    knowitall said:
    I keep wondering if it would make sense for a Mac (and macOS) to support configurations with:
    1. an ARM CPU and an Intel CPU
    2. multiple ARM CPUs
    3. multiple ARM CPUs and an Intel CPU
    Maybe it need not be all or nothing?
    I think it does. Including an Intel CPU defeats the purpose (getting rid of Intel).
    Why assume that Apple would be getting rid of Intel because they wanted to use an ARM-based Mac for, say, a new MacBook Air that was basically the 12" MacBook but running an Apple-designed chip? Do you really think there's an ARM-equivlenet that will work for the Mac Pro? I don't see the Pro-line being affected by this until such time as most people are instead bitching that Apple isn't moving fast enough to switch their high-end machines to to ARM.
    I assume they do because Intel is expensive and has a timeline and incentive unaligned with Apple.
    edited April 4
  • Reply 107 of 246
    morkymorky Posts: 170member
    They own the IDE, programming languages and compiler for their platform and I'm sure this has been in the works for years. Guaranteed this will be much closer to a simple recompile for developers than the PPC to Intel switch was. 
    mike egglestonfastasleep
  • Reply 108 of 246
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,512member
    melgross said:
    MmmDee said:
    Awaiting the first anti-trust/monopoly lawsuit that Apple has yet to experience. Once Apple owns all the hardware and all the software running on their products, continuing their closed "ecosystem", the legal woes and end-of-product nightmare will begin. What a bad idea... I'm definitely not going down this path of self-destruction, been there, done that. Pity some businesses don't learn from history and are therefore doomed to repeat mistakes. More temporary profit for Apple, less choices for consumers.
    No, that’s not true. Monopoly doesn’t work that way. Apple would need to constitute a major majority of computers first. Even adding iPad in, that wouldn’t come close. Including the iPhone wouldn’t count, because they’re in a different category. If what you said were true, then Google should have already had their search declared a monopoly, and Android. Microsoft would have had Office called a monopoly, because it constitutes 95% of all office software.

    despite the nonsense we get from ignorant Android users, iOS isn’t closed any more than Android is. In fact, if we look at an OS ecosystem properly, and consider that software availability is the major measure of closed vs open, we’d see that iOS has far more diversity than does Android. Just because several manufacturers make Android phones, and are allowed to skin them doesn’t mean that it’s more open. If Apple had only its own software, only then could it really be called closed.
    Size doesn't always matter :)  I worked for IBM when they had 92% of the maimframe computer market.  They were deemed not a monopoly because their success was due to superior products, marketing and support.
    There’s also the concept of a natural monopoly. That’s where a company builds up their marketshare, rather than buying companies to add to their bulk. The laws are very different. Microsoft had a natural monopoly with Windows, and they have a defacto one with Office. Windows was declared a monopoly, and Office hasn’t been. 

    ‘But IBM was not allowed to continue bundling because of their defacto monopoly.
  • Reply 109 of 246
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,630member
    Soli said:
    . . .
    [image]
    You really could have gone with Carry ARM for the terrible, terrible pun!  :D
    Dammit! That's good! I went thinking there was a pun, specifically with the word on, but then I drew a blank.
  • Reply 110 of 246
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,466member
    jbdragon said:
    I think a lot of people are assuming things in a negative way that just won't be true.  This is all a rumor in the first place, not a fact.   Maybe Apple is working on ARM Mac's. Then again Apple works on all kinds of things doing R&D and many things never see the light of day for one reason or another.  Some of it gets leaked out but never happens.

    Maybe Apple is working on it, but they're not just going to move to it without a solid plan for everything. I think people are worrying a little too much. 
    I think it is more of a case of people being ignorant.   First off as you said nothing is shipping yet. So we have zero idea as to performance nor capability.  

    When you consider some if the comments made here it really makes you wonder if the posters are the claimed professionals they claim to be.  Claiming your code base relys upon decades old code does not inspire confidence.  Claiming you wont buy the machines due to a lack of Linux running in a VM is also assininr considering we dont even know if the new hardware contains virtualization, plus Linux has been on ARM for years now.  

    Frankly this so called panic is some of the most immature talk ive heard in years.   We have people swearing to business decisions based on nothing but rumor.   We literally know nithing about these processors so why the panic.  

    What people should be asking is why Apple might do this.   I honestly dont believe that it has anything to do with the CPU as it isnt even a consideration these days to platform success.  Rather Apples departure from Intel is more about emerging technologies and the ability to support those technologies.  The first thing that comes to mind is hardware to support AI like technologies.  We cant dismiss ither tech like support for 3D touchless interfacing, camera processing and anything else Apple has up their sleeves.   In a nut shell you can panic all you want but if people follow through and leave the platform they will likely be dropping if the technology band wagon.  Effectively left behind.  
    fastasleep
  • Reply 111 of 246
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,012member

    melgross said:
    knowitall said:
    melgross said:
    The idea that old, Intel Macs would keep working, offered as a reason to not be concerned about a shift from Intel chips seems shortsighted to me. It only delays the day when Macs will no longer be viable for those of us with a need for Intel compatibility. 

    I *have to* run Linux and Windows VMs and *want to* use a Mac; it's not the other way around for me and the loss of the ability to do the former would mean my very reluctant move away from Macs. Being able to run Docker containers on my Mac has further underscored my need for Intel compatibility. This is an upsetting thought to me, as I love using macOS as my desktop OS. Nearly every network and software engineer that I know who is a Mac user is in the same boat as I am. 

    It may well be that this will come to pass, or it may be that it's just a rumour. Perhaps (and this is my hope) Apple will use its own CPUs for low-end systems and Intel CPUs in Pro machines. In any case, I think it's a mistake to underestimate the loss to the Apple community of what I think will be an enormous number of developers. Being dismissive of people's concerns is a little heartless. 
    I bet it won't cause an enormous loss of developers, the same that the last two shifts didn't, nor any other move that promised to be the death of developers like Xcode was heralded to be. And, like I said, the mini and the MacBook are likely the first, as the A-series processor doesn't have any super-heavy lifters at present.

    I'm also pretty sure that you realize that you are not typical of the Mac using public. You are an outlier. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but also not a giant market segment for the company.
    While it seems to be that people are ignoring what I’ve been saying about this in threads over the years, it isn’t necessary for there to be any incompatibility between x86 software and an A series SoC, if Apple does what I’ve said they could. That’s to add the dozen, or so, instructions which have been shown to cause 80% of the slowdown when emulating one chip family on another. As far as I know, all of these instructions are open for anyone to use, individually. If Apple added them to their SoC, and had an automatic switch to those instructions when x86 software called for them, then no sloppy software virtualization would be required, as everything would work as usual. As Apple’s SoC speeded up over the next couple of years, x86 software would run faster. I saw that with my Quadra 950 after Apple released the PPC 601 card for the processor slot.

    for all we know, they’re working on that now. In fact, no one knows what at least 35% of the area on the SoC does. Apple doesn’t talk about more than a few areas. They could be experimenting with that now. Maybe we’ll see a “B” series of SoCs that will do this. Who knows? Otherwise, people thinking that Apple will do what Microsoft is doing is wrong, by my thinking. Microsoft requires a code rewrite for software to work on their universal system. Wouldn’t it be better if NO rewrite was required? You bet!
    Note that ‘sloppy software virtualization’ is required for instructions not added to the core. 
    It’s also possible to translate the code ahead of time once and run this translated program at full speed.
    I call virtualization sloppy, because it very inefficient when applied to chip families. It’s efficient when applied to a different OS within the same chip family. You were either not around when Virtual PC, and earlier virtualization software was around, or you didn’t use it, but everything ran between 70-80% slower, even though, for the first few years, the PPC was significantly faster than x86.

    there are enough instruction in x86 and ARM that are either the same, or similar enough so as to not require virtualization. But these instructions that are different enough have been found to cause most of the slowdown. Those are hardware instructions, and adding them to the SoC would solve a lot of problems.
    Very true, I shouldn’t have quoted it. I meant that the other non hardware translated instructions still have to be emulated and that’s costly (the core traps on the unknown instruction and runs some code, maybe 5 or 6 instructions to do the translation).
    edited April 4
  • Reply 112 of 246
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,433member
    wizard69 said:
    nunzy said:
    Will this be a step towards uniting iOS and OSX?
    Lets hope not!   If you look at these two as tools they are about as different as a lathe and a table saw.   Both iOS and Mac OS are tools that allow users to get work done in different ways.  

    While i can see both OS's adopting features of the other (actually has been happening for some time) i dont see an integrated OS being a huge win for either user base.   Rather an integrated OS would be more cumbersome for both.  

    Rather i see Apple coming up with an API that makes dupporting users on both systems much easier.  Frankly there is much that Apple could do to integrate  the users machine but kee them ditinct.  Some of this is already done through iCloud but that is a bit of a joke.   

    In any event interesting times ahead.  Maybe in time i wont be pissed with Apple and their Mac division.  
    Ha!  Among other power tools, I use a Shopsmith -- which is a lathe, table saw, drill press, disk sander, horizontal borer, router, shaper... all in the floor space needed for a bicycle (see below).

    As for an integrated Universal Apple OS -- there is NO need to sacrifice the function, speed, capability, UI, etc. for individual devices/architectures -- kinda' "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".  *

    As others have posted it's more of a development, packaging & distribution process than a bifurcation.

    * My grandson, who is studying philosophy, will be surprised/happy I quoted Karl Marx!

    Edit:  Added: NO to need to sacrifice the function -- (completely changed the meaning -- I guess I must have lied to my diary)  :/




    edited April 4
  • Reply 113 of 246
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,466member
    blackstar said:
    Honestly, it seems like Apple waiving the white flag at being Content Creation devices. While the iMac Pro's specs are indeed impressive, it's inflexibility is not reassuring as a long-term investment. I haven't even heard any good rumors about a new Mac Pro. Maybe Apple wants to get out of that business? 
    Apples failure with the recent Mac Pros comes from not understanding how to make a successful high end machine.   They obsess with the top end foggetting that many pros dont need high performance per say.  The trash can Mac Pro would gave been a lot more successful if they hadcoffered a variant that was based on a single board computer running somebodies APU.  Basically a $1200 desktop mac.   That would have driven volume for the rest of the infrastructure and Xeon based machines with muktiple GPUs.   In a nut shell the entry point needs to be low enough to encourage the midstream engineer, technoloogist or what ever that finds the Mini to limiting.  

    What is sad here is that they have failed so many times with yhe same basic formula.   People complain about the trash cans design but that really isnt the primary problem as it is the same old formula from Apple.   That is one low end machine in the Mini and one very high end machine in the Mac Pro with nothing in the middle.  

    Ive heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.   If this is the case management at Apples Mac division is insane.   
  • Reply 114 of 246
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 172member
    Depends on what is important to you.  For me, it would be a nail in the coffin for Macs; interoperability is why Macs got beyond the 2% niche level.  Design helped, but it would never have happened if you couldn't use the same laptop to run Windows or Linux/Unix.

    I could likely survive with an A-Series processor for 95% of what I do, but the remaining 5% kills the value proposition as I end up needing an additional computer.
    You are correct about the numbers but I think that most people on AI are too young to remember what Mac OS worldwide marketshare numbers were around 1999 to 2001.
    It was less than 3% worldwide reaching a bottom of about 2.3%. 

    https://www.macworld.com/article/1002940/marketshare.html

    And a major reason for the increase in Mac (Mac OS) sales was the transition to Intel processors. As stated by PCWorld / MacWorld in 2006 when Mac marketshare got back up to 5%.

    “The growth is an excellent sign of the success of Apple’s transition to Intel based systems.”

    https://www.macworld.com/article/1053465/marketshare.html

    Habi_tweet
  • Reply 115 of 246
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,270member
    melgross said:
    wizard69 said:
    nunzy said:
    Will this be a step towards uniting iOS and OSX?
    Lets hope not!   If you look at these two as tools they are about as different as a lathe and a table saw.   Both iOS and Mac OS are tools that allow users to get work done in different ways.  

    While i can see both OS's adopting features of the other (actually has been happening for some time) i dont see an integrated OS being a huge win for either user base.   Rather an integrated OS would be more cumbersome for both.  

    Rather i see Apple coming up with an API that makes dupporting users on both systems much easier.  Frankly there is much that Apple could do to integrate  the users machine but kee them ditinct.  Some of this is already done through iCloud but that is a bit of a joke.   

    In any event interesting times ahead.  Maybe in time i wont be pissed with Apple and their Mac division.  
    ...
    same here, I’d like the opportunity to use iOS iPad apps on my Mac. If I could do so with a mouse, and other keyboard shortcuts, that would be great. I can’t imagine anyone saying that it wouldn’t be a good thing. And you know what, realistically, if you can run the software from two OSs on each other’s machine, they have effectively become the same OS. I would think that developers would like that too.not having to develop, and maintain two separate versions would save them time and money.
    You already do that with iWork applications. They present the same user interface, windows and pane layout etc... on iOS, macOS and iCloud. That doesn't make iCloud, iOS and macOS "effectively the same operating system".

    Actually Apple can handle everything on behalf of the developer in a platform-agnostic way. We have no idea yet to what extent Marzipan is related to that, but such an intervention from Apple would introduce more rigidity into the software and severely limit the granular control Xcode and current frameworks provide to the developer. Some might prefer filling-in a basic "universal" template application, but I think many would refine their applications to push the capabilities of each platform to its limits and would gladly design separately for each platform.

    This is my humble opinion, a more elaborate opinion is from Gruber:
    https://daringfireball.net/2017/12/marzipan

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 116 of 246
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,630member
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    knowitall said:
    I suspect porting Xcode to iOS isn't easy, 12” is very little screen estate for such a program.
    There are MacBooks with the same size screen.
    Running Xcode on a MacBook is only an option because it's running macOS, not because it's an ideal display size.
    That’s true. But for convenience sake, running it on the iPad screen would be a good thing. More options are always better than fewer options.
    I'm all for it, but would beed to be added to make this feasible? Mouse support would be simple enough. What other frameworks are missing to make Xcode on iOS a reality? Do you think Apple will do that or if they'll just keep with the relatively simplistic Playgrounds.
  • Reply 117 of 246
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,466member
    MmmDee said:
    Awaiting the first anti-trust/monopoly lawsuit that Apple has yet to experience. Once Apple owns all the hardware and all the software running on their products, continuing their closed "ecosystem", the legal woes and end-of-product nightmare will begin. What a bad idea... I'm definitely not going down this path of self-destruction, been there, done that. Pity some businesses don't learn from history and are therefore doomed to repeat mistakes. More temporary profit for Apple, less choices for consumers.
    Non sense, Mac OS on ARM means more choices for consummers and more competition for intel.  It is Intels lock on the market that has everybody locking at alternative archetectures this includes MicroSoft.  Right now Intel is in the way of progress.   

    Speaking of MicroSoft, i wouldnt be surprised to find Apple prototypes already at MicroSoft for Windows on ARM development.  Apple isnt stupid and will likely have many partners on board before any thing ships.   
  • Reply 118 of 246
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,433member
    melgross said:
    nunzy said:
    Will this be a step towards uniting iOS and OSX?
    In theory, but not soon, I don't think. 
    Yup. My thoughts have always been that they would, even though Apple has denied it. With their new project, allowing iOS software to run in macOS, using a mouse, I believe we can see the beginning of the end of the total differentiation between the two.

    as I’ve mused here a number of times whenever this topic is discussed, I believe that at some point Apple will have the “UOS” - I.e., the Universal Operating System. That would entail Apple calibrating what an app is when it’s downloaded to a particular device. So for the Apple Watch, we would get a version that would use what that UI and SoC is capable of. Ditto for the iPhone’s and iPads. The same thing or Macs. All would be file compatible. Essentially, the app would be the same inside, just allowing the capabilities of the hardware.

    with Unix being what all of Apple’s OSs are tied together with, this should be easier than it has been for Microsoft. If Apple could work this out so that the capabilities they already have, which is to look at your hardware and download just what is needed there, then this isn’t such a great leap. It would be painless for users, and not too bad for developers.

    @melgross I wanted digest your post before responding...

    I believe that you are absolutely correct that Apple will have a UOS!  It's obvious in the way the various OSes are organized under Craig Federighi and WWDC keynote presos that are made by him.

    There are so many benefits to this for Apple internally and external 3rd-party developers.

    Who's to say what IOT solutions Apple has under development -- which may utilize AI, ML, etc. -- with different (or no) UIs... wearable clothing, for example...

    The key to this is communication among devices running apps built with
  • Reply 119 of 246
    Depends on what is important to you.  For me, it would be a nail in the coffin for Macs; interoperability is why Macs got beyond the 2% niche level.  Design helped, but it would never have happened if you couldn't use the same laptop to run Windows or Linux/Unix.

    I could likely survive with an A-Series processor for 95% of what I do, but the remaining 5% kills the value proposition as I end up needing an additional computer.
    Macs have consistently been between 6 and 7 percent of the total marketshare well before and well after the shift to Intel.

    And, I'm sure that there will be some loss. But, nobody is expecting an overnight shift in every product. I suspect the first computer to shift over will be the MacBook, with the MBP taking a few more years at least, if ever.
    And this is why I question that Apple will even make this transition away from Intel. I just don’t see that big of an upside. If it’s not going into MBP/iMac/Mac Pro level machines, does it even make sense to start down that road?

    It really doesn’t make sense to bifurcate the Mac lineup with Apple vs. Intel CPU. If Apple isn’t planning on producing chips across the entire performance range, including desktop/Xeon levels of 100-150 Watts, they’ll still need Intel (or AMD).

    What’s the point? How much can they really save over just continuing to buy Intel parts? How can they ever get the economies of scale that would allow them to amortize the massive R&D costs? They sell 20 million Macs a year. 

    In a way it would be like adding a Chromebook/ChromeOS equivalent to their ecosystem. Here’s a new low(er) end piece of hardware, that runs a different OS incapable of running all the apps these faster machines like iMac/iMac Pro/Mac Pro can run. But here’s your $799 A-series Air. 

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 120 of 246
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,012member
    wizard69 said:
    jbdragon said:
    I think a lot of people are assuming things in a negative way that just won't be true.  This is all a rumor in the first place, not a fact.   Maybe Apple is working on ARM Mac's. Then again Apple works on all kinds of things doing R&D and many things never see the light of day for one reason or another.  Some of it gets leaked out but never happens.

    Maybe Apple is working on it, but they're not just going to move to it without a solid plan for everything. I think people are worrying a little too much. 
    I think it is more of a case of people being ignorant.   First off as you said nothing is shipping yet. So we have zero idea as to performance nor capability.  

    When you consider some if the comments made here it really makes you wonder if the posters are the claimed professionals they claim to be.  Claiming your code base relys upon decades old code does not inspire confidence.  Claiming you wont buy the machines due to a lack of Linux running in a VM is also assininr considering we dont even know if the new hardware contains virtualization, plus Linux has been on ARM for years now.  

    Frankly this so called panic is some of the most immature talk ive heard in years.   We have people swearing to business decisions based on nothing but rumor.   We literally know nithing about these processors so why the panic.  

    What people should be asking is why Apple might do this.   I honestly dont believe that it has anything to do with the CPU as it isnt even a consideration these days to platform success.  Rather Apples departure from Intel is more about emerging technologies and the ability to support those technologies.  The first thing that comes to mind is hardware to support AI like technologies.  We cant dismiss ither tech like support for 3D touchless interfacing, camera processing and anything else Apple has up their sleeves.   In a nut shell you can panic all you want but if people follow through and leave the platform they will likely be dropping if the technology band wagon.  Effectively left behind.  
    Your right that the CPU isn’t the only issue. It’s all that the soc includes: CPU, GPU (very closely integrated or maybe hybrid), communication, special co processors (movie codecs, speech processing,  neural nets, etc.). Getting rid of Intel makes all of that possible within one (small) piece of silicon (or GaAs).
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