Speculation on the Intel switch, video iPods, and an iTunes Movie Store
An Ars Technica column, with what is claimed to be insider information, says that Apple's switch to Intel processors was a result more of Apple's high-handedness with IBM, and IBM's refusal to continue to acquiesce, than of the performance and roadmap issues stated publicly by Apple and disputed by IBM. Other purported reasons are an Apple interest in becoming an all-Intel shop, using Intel chips not only for Macintoshes but for iPods, and the possibility that Apple would use Intel's XScale technology, designed for high performance with low power consumption, for a video iPod.
The iPod and what it represents - an elegant, intuitively useful, and widely appealing expression of everything that Moore's Curves promise but so rarely deliver - is the "Macintosh" of the new millennium. There was no need to put on a dog and pony show about how IBM has dropped the performance ball, when what Jobs is really doing is shifting the focus of Apple from a PC-era "performance" paradigm to a post-PC-era "features and functionality" paradigm.
Technology columnist Robert Cringely comments on the Ars article and adds his own speculation that Apple timed its Intel announcement for the benefit of Intel, purposely preceding IBM's announcement of new dual core PowerPC 970MP processor.
Cringely also theorizes that Intel's investment in the ClickStar movie download site is now part of a coordinated plan with Apple to create an iTunes Movie Store. Cringely agrees with Ars that a video iPod is in the works, with the consolidation of the iPod photo into the standard iPod as a sign of that effort.
Video iPods have long been rumored, and recent events, such as the inclusion of videos in the iTunes Music Store and statements by Steve Jobs in May contribute to those rumors, especially in comparison with earlier statements by Steve Jobs.