Analyst: Atom-based Apple in months, Chinese iPhone in 2008

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A new research note by Lehman Brothers calls for an Apple device with an Intel Atom processor within 12 months, and expects the iPhone to reach more than one billion potential customers before the end of 2008.



Analyst Ben Reitzes makes the prediction based on Intel chief Paul Otellini's talks at a Lehman-hosted telecoms conference, where the semiconductor company head notes that he has been "positively surprised" by the take-up of the Atom by the market.



The statement contributes to an existing sentiment at Lehman that Apple may release an ultra-portable device within a year that Reitzes speculates would be oriented towards sharing media. This likelihood grows even further with statements by Otellini that future iterations of Atom will be efficient enough to fit into iPhone-sized devices as early as 2009; having this technology at the smartphone level could have significant implications for Apple, Reitzes says.



"We believe any product using Intel architecture in terms of an ultra-portable or iPhone could be met with orders in the multiple millions, making our estimates for Apple conservative," he elaborates.



The financial researcher also notes that Apple's steadily growing number of carrier deals now gives it access to a potential 650 million subscribers as of the TeliaSonera deal, or about four times as many subscribers that can be reached today. The rapid expansion is characterized as evidence that Apple is pushing for sheer volume in terms of sales and that the company may be counting on added iPhone numbers to compensate for reduced or absent carrier payments.



That number may also be poised to explode before the year is over, the analyst notes: Lehman anticipates the signing of a Chinese carrier by the end of 2008 that would push Apple's total potential customer base to one billion, or more than six times the current range. Such expansion will not only help Apple reach targets but could see any success spill over into other categories.



"We believe higher phone volumes mean that Apple will experience an enhanced halo effect that could drive millions of upside to Mac units," the researcher states.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    amac4meamac4me Posts: 282member
    It's only a matter of time before we see SEVERAL products from Apple that rely on the Atom processor.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Apple, please make it small for a pocket, but capable of running a full Mac OS X 10.5.3 inside to run full native Keynote and PowerPoint presentations on wired and wireless videoprojectors. Something like this but with Mac OS X:



    OQO model e2

    http://www.oqo.com



    We need thousands for scientific meetings and University.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amac4me View Post


    It's only a matter of time before we see SEVERAL products from Apple that rely on the Atom processor.



    I very much doubt it, if you are talking about handheld products. AppleTV or something is a different matter.



    Give me one good reason why Apple would release a handheld product with an Atom. Because Intel released it is not a good reason. Apple will use ARM processors for the foreseeable future.



    Really, you have to question the level of intelligence of these analysts when they say things like releasing an Intel arch device will sell millions. Why? Its bigger and more power hungry but the masses will run out and buy it because it runs on x86? How many customers will know or care what their handheld runs? Pity the people who actually trade on this guy's pronouncements.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    futurepastnowfuturepastnow Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amac4me View Post


    It's only a matter of time before we see SEVERAL products from Apple that rely on the Atom processor.



    And I think one of the first will be the AppleTV. It runs close to the edge thermally and this would help. Give it a little more CPU power and cost less, too.



    If Apple is smart, they won't even announce a change. It's just an appliance, no reason for customers to know what is inside.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    And I think one of the first will be the AppleTV. It runs close to the edge thermally and this would help. Give it a little more CPU power and cost less, too.



    If Apple is smart, they won't even announce a change. It's just an appliance, no reason for customers to know what is inside.



    I think you're right. The atom would seem to be a nice fit for the ATV.



    I'm thinking of getting an ATV but am waiting for a hardware revision. Every time I visit the Apple store and see one, I imidiately notice how hot those things get. I worry that will cause a HW failure given enough time.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    The Atom is a great processor but I would take this whole article with a huge grain of salt. The reason being that there are a lot of good low-power processors out there and whether or not it's an intel one with x86 instructions matters hardly at all to a portable OS-X device.



    The fact that this researcher thinks that millions of extra orders will hit just because Apple is using an intel processor (versus perhaps getting the same performance out of a future ARM chip or even a custom made chip of their own design) is highly suspicious in my book.



    It's almost like they are thinking that simply because the Atom is the popular new processor that adding it to an Apple device will result in increased orders because of some loopy brand recognition or something.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    but it's uses a very old chip set with poor on board video and the apple TV uses a nvidia chip.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    ivladivlad Posts: 740member
    China's population is in BILLIONS!!!

    Imagine taking just 10% of that...or even 1%. That's like total number of iPhone users in US. =)
  • Reply 9 of 33
    texadiantexadian Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    China's population is in BILLIONS!!!

    Imagine taking just 10% of that...or even 1%. That's like total number of iPhone users in US. =)



    Its not BILLIONS its around 1.3 Billion. Still nothing to gock at thought.



    10% = 130 Million(ish)

    1% = 13 Million(ish)



    I think the iphone has sold what around 5.5 million worldwide so far; so your overall determination is somewhat accurate given the entire population has access or the money to buy it in the first place.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,319member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    I very much doubt it, if you are talking about handheld products. AppleTV or something is a different matter.



    Give me one good reason why Apple would release a handheld product with an Atom. Because Intel released it is not a good reason. Apple will use ARM processors for the foreseeable future.



    Really, you have to question the level of intelligence of these analysts when they say things like releasing an Intel arch device will sell millions. Why? Its bigger and more power hungry but the masses will run out and buy it because it runs on x86? How many customers will know or care what their handheld runs? Pity the people who actually trade on this guy's pronouncements.



    Exactly. Specs don't mean anything to anyone but techies. Everyone else relies on function and/or style.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    texadiantexadian Posts: 16member
    Lets not forget that Branding is on of the most powerful marketing tools a company has. Slap a known name (Intel) on something and all of a sudden you have an instant customer base willing to at least hear what you have to say. The use of "Branding" is great way to get a so so product out the door.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Texadian View Post


    Lets not forget that Branding is on of the most powerful marketing tools a company has. Slap a known name (Intel) on something and all of a sudden you have an instant customer base willing to at least hear what you have to say. The use of "Branding" is great way to get a so so product out the door.



    even though you have a valid point, i think that the 'apple' brand outweighs the 'intel inside' for most people (one way or the other i suppose). notice that apple does not participate in the 'stickers outside' co-marketing of intel, and likely passes on promotional dollars from intel.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    texadiantexadian Posts: 16member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    even though you have a valid point, i think that the 'apple' brand outweighs the 'intel inside' for most people (one way or the other i suppose). notice that apple does not participate in the 'stickers outside' co-marketing of intel, and likely passes on promotional dollars from intel.



    I see that as a very valid point but the truth is in the numbers. Look at sales of Apple products (the computers) before they went Intel and after. MANY people switched from PC to Apple just for the sheer fact that it now has Intel as a processor (known name and abilities) instead of a PowerPC processor (known only to Apple(ites)). People saw the potential Intel gave the Apple system and we (Appleites) are seeing a steady increase of adopters. Do you think the same thing would happen with a lesser known product name like...... Centaur Technology? They have a good product but no product name. Apple didn't choose Intel for there technology but rather there name. If they thought it was the best product out there they would do everything Intel and not just bits and pieces.



    p.s. Okay you Intel lovers just so you know I think they make great products so please don't ream my post just bc I used Intel as the example.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Texadian View Post


    I see that as a very valid point but the truth is in the numbers. Look at sales of Apple products (the computers) before they went Intel and after. MANY people switched from PC to Apple just for the sheer fact that it now has Intel as a processor (known name and abilities) instead of a PowerPC processor (known only to Apple(ites)). People saw the potential Intel gave the Apple system and we (Appleites) are seeing a steady increase of adopters. Do you think the same thing would happen with a lesser known product name like...... Centaur Technology? They have a good product but no product name. Apple didn't choose Intel for there technology but rather there name. If they thought it was the best product out there they would do everything Intel and not just bits and pieces.



    p.s. Okay you Intel lovers just so you know I think they make great products so please don't ream my post just bc I used Intel as the example.



    Correlation doesn't mean causation. Intel chips just happen to be compatible with a huge portion of the installed base of computers and software on the planet. That's the point. It's hardly because Intel made them. Most non-technical people I spoke to before the transition thought that Macs already ran the same processors as PCs because their chip was called PowerPC.



    There's also the iPod thing and Apple's improved brand. Apple's Mac sales started growing in earnest much earlier, the Intel switch just gave them a kick along.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Texadian View Post


    I see that as a very valid point but the truth is in the numbers. Look at sales of Apple products (the computers) before they went Intel and after. MANY people switched from PC to Apple just for the sheer fact that it now has Intel as a processor (known name and abilities) instead of a PowerPC processor (known only to Apple(ites)). People saw the potential Intel gave the Apple system and we (Appleites) are seeing a steady increase of adopters. Do you think the same thing would happen with a lesser known product name like...... Centaur Technology? They have a good product but no product name. Apple didn't choose Intel for there technology but rather there name. If they thought it was the best product out there they would do everything Intel and not just bits and pieces.



    p.s. Okay you Intel lovers just so you know I think they make great products so please don't ream my post just bc I used Intel as the example.



    Hmm... you might be right, but i still think apples growth has more to do with the well publicised ability to run windows, than the fact it's got an intel chip in it. it's likely a combination of both.



    of course i don't know what would have happened if apple had gone with AMD instead. i'm not saying that going intel had nothing to do with apple's numbers, i'm just wondering if it really is a branding issue, or rather a functionality issue (running windows). does the general public say 'it has an intel chip inside!' or do they say 'it can run windows as well'?



    i don't think that apple went with intel solely for their name, i think they went for the supplier that could deliver what they wanted and wasn't going to pull a motorala/ibm on them. intel's roadmap was likely more important to steve jobs than their brand. it would make no sense NOT to put 'intel inside' stickers all over it if branding was the main motivation for the move.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    but it's uses a very old chip set with poor on board video and the apple TV uses a nvidia chip.



    I really don't think you're capable of understanding what "the right tool for the right job" means.



    The Intel GPU is built into a lot of chipsets, but there are a lot of devices that don't use it and just add one. All iMacs have an Intel GPU, but the non-edu iMacs use a discrete GPU chip instead. The AppleTV would probably be just like that, assuming the Intel GPU still doesn't do what Apple needs AppleTV to do.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    I very much doubt it, if you are talking about handheld products. AppleTV or something is a different matter.



    Give me one good reason why Apple would release a handheld product with an Atom. Because Intel released it is not a good reason. Apple will use ARM processors for the foreseeable future.



    Really, you have to question the level of intelligence of these analysts when they say things like releasing an Intel arch device will sell millions. Why? Its bigger and more power hungry but the masses will run out and buy it because it runs on x86? How many customers will know or care what their handheld runs? Pity the people who actually trade on this guy's pronouncements.



    The XScale would have been the logical choice but the Atom is DOA for the iPhone. These people truly are dense if they think Apple is going to solely rely on Intel for all their hardware products.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    rossthebossrosstheboss Posts: 101member
    it's more usual to call "twelve months" "one year"...
  • Reply 19 of 33
    futurepastnowfuturepastnow Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I really don't think you're capable of understanding what "the right tool for the right job" means.



    The Intel GPU is built into a lot of chipsets, but there are a lot of devices that don't use it and just add one. All iMacs have an Intel GPU, but the non-edu iMacs use a discrete GPU chip instead. The AppleTV would probably be just like that, assuming the Intel GPU still doesn't do what Apple needs AppleTV to do.



    Sadly, the edu-iMac with no discrete GPU is gone now. It died along with the 17" screen. That was a very good value for anyone who doesn't play games.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Atom seems like a whole lot of hype with little substance. The performance numbers are certainly not there with the first generation, although the coming Menlow platform, which will see Atom as a system-on-a-chip should change that somewhat.

    What everyone forgets about is that ARM is by no means standing still. The current iPhone uses an old ARM processor. Their current generation, the Cortex-A9, scales up to over 1.0 Ghz and dual-core, while using a fraction of the power the Atom will. Who knows what will come out next year. I just don't know if there are enough advantages of using x86 in the embedded market for it to make any dent. Certainly with apple, they have already ported and optimized the OSX kernel and supporting libraries over to ARM. Why would they want to throw all that work away and go to a potentially bigger, slower, and more power-hungry x86 chip in a future iPhone?

    If there are systems engineers here that know stuff I dont, please by all means let us know!
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