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.

Top Rated Comments

JTR7 Avatar
130 months ago
I just pray they don't move to ARM processors.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
130 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
130 months ago
Apple is bluffing... At least I hope so.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will do good Avatar
130 months ago
Wow, Apple is making the calls these days.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddarko Avatar
130 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
130 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)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...