Apple Hardware Mystique All But A Memory

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
In one of the other threads it was mentioned that Woodcrest (Intel's server oriented CPU) was to be available (announced? whatever...) this week (today) and a fellow AI member made a comment something like 'you can order a Woodcrest based server from practically every PC vendor except for Apple.

Without doing an exhaustive search I'm fairly sure he's right.

In the 'good old days' Apples hardware was 'so unique' it was always fun to try and imagine what future hardware was going to be spec'd like.

- The CPU

- The Bus

- The Memory Controller

- The Northbridge Functions

- The Type of Slots

All of these items were (or could have been) so drastically different from WinTel boxes and as such Apple had a real chance to build up a fever pitch of curiosity and mystique. Surprise was Apple's (Steve's) trademark.

As time went on, things slowly started to change.... First, IDE was embraced. PCI came next. Little by little Apple fell into line with the rest of the 'PC world'. The last bastions of mystery was the CPU, Bus and assorted support chips Northbridge etc. That finally ended with the move to Intel CPU's announced last year. Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all (in fact I feel quite the opposite). I'm just pointing it out.

Apple hardware is now for better or worse - 'just like the rest'.

Before I get killed for that statement, I'm saying that 'in general terms' as in the basic hardware components that make the system tick. The strongest cards in Apple hand will always be style, form, function and lets not forget OS X itself.

All that being said what's the point in Apple being so QT about it's hardware. We need only look at what Dell, Compaq and the rest are doing to know (for the most part) what Apple's hardware will be.

Now do you agree with me? And more to the point, do you think Apple will change it's QT stance on it's hardware in the not too distant future?


One last point - at one time Apple also had the luxury of time when it came to hardware releases. Apple was for the most part the only company that used the CPU's they used. PPC or 680x0 and could dictate/demand things like a total lock-down of information flow as well as the actual 'release date' of the CPU itself. After all, it was always the case where the CPU 'came out' when the Apple hardware that shipped with it came out. The biggest benefit of being the top/only customer for a product.

This is no longer the case and nothing's gonna change that.



  • Reply 1 of 2
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Apple simply couldn't afford to keep up the development of new hardware that differed from the PC world which enjoys economies of scale and access to many choices.

    I felt that Apple's hardware was always decent but their life cycle was too long and thus they would jump ahead shortly only to be caught by the large and consistent PC clones.

    With the G4 500Mhz debacle Apple was passed and humiliated.

    However today the truth is hardware is a commodity. It's fast, cheap and accessible. People don't give Microsoft a whole lot of credit but Bill always knew the key to profits were in software engineering and not hardware. Today's market bears this prophecy out. SGI and SUN makers of high end hardware are on life support or struggling.

    Software companies that capture a decent portion of the market are a bit more isolated from market downturns.

    What I hope Apple can do is to walk a fine line between developing a infrastructure of Apple applications that allows 3rd party ISVs to compete enough and thrive. Software is the only way you're going to survive as a company now. It is the key to ensuring that you have a spot on the new 21st century computer that now has the ability to run multiple OS concurrently with hardware acceleration.

    The hardware will be common denominator. It's too expensive for smaller players. Look at just 5 years ago in the graphics market. You had no less than 6 different players making 3D processors. Today it's basically a two horse race with ATI and Nvidia. Smaller players simply do not have the resources to compete unless they are flawless in execution.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    mwswamimwswami Posts: 166member
    We are busy updating the store for you and will be back within the hour!!!

Sign In or Register to comment.