Apple Threatened to Abandon Intel Chips over Power Consumption

intel2
In an article from The Wall Street Journal regarding Intel's new $300 million effort to spur innovation on its "Ultrabook" platform, an Intel executive reveals that the chipmaker was driven to reduce power consumption to support such ultra-thin notebook designs by Apple. The motivation came in the form of threat by Apple to switch chip suppliers unless Intel made progress on the issue (via Daring Fireball).

The company in May announced a sharp revision in its product roadmap to lower the average power draw of its chips from a range of 35 watts to 40 watts to just 15 watts.

[Intel Ultrabook director Greg] Welch said Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple’s business. “It was a real wake-up call to us,” he said.

The logical alternative to Intel for Apple would be AMD, which goes head-to-head against Intel in the x86 market. But Apple has also been rumored to have been considering moving to ARM-based processors, with the company also reported to have tested a MacBook Air model built around the ARM-based A5 chip used in the iPad 2. Other recent speculative reports have indicated that Apple could be working toward a merger of iOS and OS X, a process that would likely begin with Mac models like the MacBook Air that are closest to the iOS devices in terms of power and form factor.

Popular Stories

ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
sequoia

macOS Sequoia and iPadOS 18 Drop Support for These Macs and iPads

Monday June 10, 2024 4:13 pm PDT by
macOS Sequoia is still compatible with several Intel-based Macs, but it does drop support for 2018 and 2019 models of the MacBook Air. macOS Sequoia is compatible with the following Macs, according to Apple: MacBook Pro: 2018 and later MacBook Air: 2020 and later Mac mini: 2018 and later iMac: 2019 and later iMac Pro: 2017 Mac Studio: 2022 and later Mac Pro: 2019 and later The...
maxresdefault

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2024 in Nine Minutes

Monday June 10, 2024 7:59 pm PDT by
Apple crammed an overwhelming number of new features into its WWDC 2024 keynote event, introducing Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, visionOS 2, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18. It was hard to keep up with everything that Apple highlighted, so we did a video of all of the new additions you won't want to miss. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've also...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...

Top Rated Comments

JTR7 Avatar
168 months ago
I just pray they don't move to ARM processors.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
168 months ago
This just shows you what lazy sloths the Win PCs makers are. It takes tiny Apple (on market share basis) to force Intel to make more efficient chips. The Win fans can hate on Apple all day, but the fact remains, but-for Apple going Intel, PC hardware would be as horrible now as they was ten years ago.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leftywamumonkey Avatar
168 months ago
Apple is bluffing... At least I hope so.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will do good Avatar
168 months ago
Wow, Apple is making the calls these days.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddarko Avatar
168 months ago
Why are people assuming the Intel guy was talking about the loss of Apple business across-the-board? Nothing in the article says that. The Intel guy is director of Intel's Ultrabook division and the article is specifically about ultraslim notebooks so it follows that he's speaking about this segment of the market. Not desktops, not conventional notebooks. Power consumption is obvious a huge factor in the ultraslim segment so it makes sense Apple pushed hard for Intel to reduce power for that form factor. But there's nothing in the WSJ article to suggest Apple was threatening a wholesale move of ALL its desktops and notebooks from Intel to something else, which is what people seem to have believe.

Macrumors read something into that article that isn't there. John Gruber on Daring Fireball was careful to note Apple was talking about mobile computing but Macrumors' reporting gives the impression Apple was threatening to walk away from the whole platform.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bevel Avatar
168 months ago
it would really suck if Apple left the x86 platform for ARM. x86 is hands down the best thing that's happened to apple in recent years.

as a developer i value power and virtualization. you can't beat being able to concurrently run several versions of windows for testing purposes. plus the new sandy bridge macbook pros scream and are actually very good value when looking at similarly spec'd other brands.

i really don't miss the days of slow and expensive PowerPC systems (yes i know the benchmarks claimed they were faster). moving to ARM arch would really be a bad move.

AMD however - no probs there other than speed - but that might change.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)