Apple to Begin Merging iOS and OS X With Quad-Core A6 Chip Next Year?

Wednesday August 3, 2011 9:38 AM PDT by Eric Slivka
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is gaining headlines today for a new report related by both International Business Times and Forbes, claiming that Apple is planning to harness the power of its forthcoming quad-core "A6" chip to begin merging iOS and OS X as soon as late next year. Misek claims that the merge will be completed by 2016 as 64-bit ARM processors become available to provide sufficient horsepower to run even professional-level OS X applications.
"We expect OS merger to start in 2012-13 and complete in 2016. 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. When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture," said Misek.
Misek believes that the iOS-OS X merger is being driven by Apple's cloud ambitions, viewing a unified platform as key for seamless interaction with an online identity and associated content.
"Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used," writes Misek. "We believe this will be difficult to implement if iOS and OS X are kept separate."
According to the report, Apple is nearly ready to begin sampling the A6 system-on-a-chip, which is claimed to be making its way into iPad and iPhone models in 2012. Misek notes that a unified operating system and architecture for all of Apple's products will drive increased economies of scale when it comes to manufacturing and reduce research and development costs over the long-term when compared to the current dual-platform arrangement.

Other rumors of Apple moving to ARM-based processors for its Mac lineup have surfaced in the past, with one report claiming that Apple has developed an A5-powered MacBook Air for testing purposes. We continue to see significant hurdles to such a dramatic shift, particularly over the short-term, and so we consider today's claims to be highly speculative in nature.

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago

Is there any difference between reading an "analyst" and someone speculating on the comments section of a news site such as MacRumors?

I bet no, there isn't.


Analysts get paid to make s*** up.
Rating: 53 Votes
43 months ago

Analysts get paid to make s*** up.


I can't +1 you enough!
Rating: 27 Votes
43 months ago
Completely bogus "analysis." These people just make it up. And are wrong far, far more often than right.
Rating: 23 Votes
43 months ago
No.
Rating: 11 Votes
43 months ago
Hmm... I think we all saw this coming, just wasn't expecting it to happen quite so soon (if this analysis is correct, of course).

2012 does seem ambitious, but as someone said, 75 billion USD makes the impossible possible.
Rating: 9 Votes
43 months ago
Hardly... Intel's line up and performance is too strong to switch over.
Rating: 9 Votes
43 months ago
OS X and iOS are already merged, they just have different GUIs. 10.7 and iOS 5 are using the same source base. They are not "kept separate." Apple has repeatedly pointed this out as a strength of their platform in developer meetings.

Translated: This analyst is making stuff up.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
Is there any difference between reading an "analyst" and someone speculating on the comments section of a news site such as MacRumors?

I bet no, there isn't.
Rating: 8 Votes
43 months ago
what is wrong with having seperate os's for mobile and real computer devices? I just don't get it
Rating: 5 Votes
43 months ago
Apple has always gone a different, usability centered way of creating an OS. In its cores iOS and OS X are the same, they always were – iOS is based on OS X. As well as the old Apple TV software was (and newer versions of it are based on iOS). The software for the current iPod nano is certainly based on iOS too (with a lot of strip offs and some enhancements).

But all of that doesn't matter so much, though it's all the same core, and changing a processor actually should nothing have to do with the rest of the OS and how the user experiences it! At least that's obviously the view of Apple.

So long story short, it absolutely makes sense to use a 3.5" device with only touch input different than a 20-30" device with several input devices and completely different tasks to accomplish. Apple knows that and was going a completely different way than e.g. Microsoft. For Apple, user interface and user experience, never was "just a graphical layer" above the rest. So the user experience actually IS the OS and therefore it is designed for the tasks that Apple thinks are most likely to be done with this device. And that again is the reason, why a 3.5" device from Apple will also work differently than a 9" one (with touch input) and that again different from a 27" once (with e.g. keyboard & mouse & touch & and whatever) input for completely different tasks.

Apple wants to sell hardware – so it is in their interest to have many different devices, working slightly different and being perfect for different tasks. One device hypothetically built perfectly for every possible task simply can't make as much money as selling a desktop+notebook+ipad+iphone+ipod+aTV to someone. ;)
Rating: 5 Votes

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