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September 24, 2009


My take is that the partnership is in much better shape than Intel's mobile solutions.

Apple's Mac line will continue to pick appropriate, leading solutions that target their desktop market. And they will continue to push the envelope aggressively on non-Intel phones, game/music iPods and probably a tablet/netbook, which might surprise people by running basically OSX. (Just as they had X86 OSX running for years before they made The Switch, the head of engineering would be long gone if there weren't a careful analysis of what proprietary extensions ARM needed to make an ultralight that kicked butt on OSX, and probably several prototypes even.) Nothing to stop Apple from sucking up to Acorn _IF_ they wanted to (Fat Chance Dept).

On the Intel side, allowing TSMC to incorporate Acorn IP into other spaces is basically an admission that they can't touch ARM's power budget by themselves. Give 'em the benefit of the doubt on netbooks and smartphones even, there's no hope for Acorn on the smartphone that will use any of those non-existent apps, so Acorn will be appropriate for a stripped-down Windows experience, i.e., the netbooks, on which margins for everybody beside Intel have gotta be virtually zero.

I think that Intel has worked very hard with Apple in the hopes of them using Atom. I'm not sure, however, that they're happy about the way things have turned out thus far. That's what makes your point very interesting, Jo. We'll see what happens in 2010.

Maybe we'll see Apple's engineers work together with Intel and TSMC to create a new Atom-hybrid for their future tablet. One that would give Apple an edge while boosting Intel's Atom image


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