'Intel Based Mac' Rumor Roundup... [Updated x2]

An Intel based Macintosh?

Rumors of Apple switching to an Intel based processor pre-date the existence of this site. The earliest reference in our archives comes from March 15, 2000 (this site was founded in Feb 2000). For some perspective... a rumor roundup for WWDC 2000 (5 years ago) included rumors of "Intel-based Macs".

Analysts also "urged Apple to move to microchips from Intel Corp" back in July 2002. Steve Jobs replied that they had to finish the OS 9 -> OS X transition first but "Then we'll have options, and we like to have options. But right now, between Motorola and IBM, the roadmap looks pretty decent."

After the transition to Mac OS X, Apple was reported to have kept an OS X on x86 side-project known as Marklar. The original article described Marklar as a "fall back plan" should the PowerPC fail to deliver.

The PowerPC was undergoing slow development during that time until IBM took over development and Apple announced PowerPC G5 based PowerMacs in the summer on 2003.

In fact, IBM bragged in an internal memo that while Apple considered moving to Intel at that time they went with IBM's PowerPC G5 (970) because Apple felt the transition to Intel would be too difficult:

While Intel is aggressive in achieving its performance and speed goals, Apple believed that using Intel would deeply affect its current customer base. Using an Intel architecture might solve Apple's short-term megahertz dilemma, but customers would have to suffer through a slow transition from PowerPC over the long term. Every existing Mac program would potentially have to be recompiled to work on an Intel platform. These massive software changes were something that Apple wanted to avoid, and IBM had the solution."

Despite this, Apple/Intel rumors continued to surface (Sept 2003).

Most recently, The Wall Street Journal posted rumors citing "two industry executives" that Apple will agree to use Intel chips. Due to the long history of this topic, this rumor was largely dismissed. However, on Friday, CNet posted a report claiming that Apple will be announcing a plan to switch its computers to Intel based microprocessors on Monday at WWDC. The gradual transition would take place starting in mid-2006 and last until mid-2007.

So what's different this time?

The most striking aspect is the origination of rumors from more traditional news sources (CNet and the Wall Street Journal). In the hierarchy of rumor sources, these news sites are traditionally more accurate as they tend to be more selective about their stories than dedicated rumor sites. As a result, the likelihood that these rumors are true is high. By our records, CNet has only made one major rumor misstep in Jan 2003 claiming the release of new Digital Media Device at MWSF 2003.

That being said, it doesn't answer the many other questions that would stem from such a transition. Questions such as emulation layers, current PowerPC Mac sales, developer migration, end user confusion and more. As well, Steve Jobs was recently asked about the possibility of switching to Intel and reportedly "Jobs basically said no."

Stay tuned for the WWDC Keynote on Monday, June 6th at 10am PST. We will provide live coverage of the event and have dramatically expanded our delivery resources and technology to provide the best Keynote coverage experience possible.

Update: New York Times claims the same.

Update 2: Legal Counsel for Transitive Technologies has posted to bio: Transitive Technologies: Represented Transitive Technologies in a co-development and licensing agreement with Apple Computer. Transitive was the focal point of a Page 2 story regarding their "Dynamite" which allowed code written for one CPU to be run efficiently on another CPU. This "translator" was said to dynamically translate and accelerate binaries -- claiming to provide substantial performance over traditional "emulators".

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

Top Stories: Apple Glass and iPhone 12 Rumors, iOS 13.5 Update, and More!

Saturday May 23, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
It was another big week for rumors this week, with a flurry of reports about Apple's augmented reality glasses, the iPhone 12, and Apple's "AirPods Studio" over-ear headphones. This week also saw the release of iOS 13.5, bringing a number of health-related updates to Apple's mobile devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other topics of interest this week included ...

Apple's 'Bounce' AirPods Ad Wins 'Best of Advertising' Award

Friday May 22, 2020 10:09 am PDT by
Apple's creative "Bounce" ad designed to highlight the AirPods took top honors in the 99th annual ADC (Art Director's Club) awards for advertising, earning the "Best of Discipline" award along with two Gold Cube awards in the craft in video and branded content categories. Released in June 2019, the ad features a bored man who pulls his AirPods off of their wireless charging pad and then pops ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

'Apple Glass' Rumored to Start at $499, Support Prescription Lenses, and More

Tuesday May 19, 2020 6:30 am PDT by
Front Page Tech host and leaker Jon Prosser today shared several alleged details about Apple's rumored augmented reality glasses, including an "Apple Glass" marketing name, $499 starting price, prescription lens option, and more. The marketing name will be "Apple Glass" The glasses will start at $499 with the option for prescription lenses at an extra cost There will be displays in both...