Apple Unveils New Computers With In-House Made Chips
Advantages of the New Chips for Apple
Yesterday, Apple (AAPL) unveiled two new computers, a MacBook Air and a Mac Mini desktop, which are powered with chips made by Apple instead of an outside provider. Apple designs its own chips for iPhones and iPads, but this is the first time it has developed in-house chips for computers.
This transition will give Apple a number of long-term advantages. It will save money for the company and will give it more design flexibility. For example, apps originally developed for iPhones will be able to run on Macs with the new chips.
The Potential for Stumbling Blocks
Despite these benefits, the transition is a huge undertaking and there could be some hiccups.
Mac computers have used Intel (INTC) chips since 2005. Apple says the entire transition away from these chips will likely take about two years. However, the company has promised to support Macs with Intel chips after the tradition is complete.
Though Apple is gaining attention for its new in-house chips, it hopes that for Mac users, the transition from a computer powered by an Intel chip to a computer powered by an Apple chip will be seamless. Ideally, consumers will hardly even notice a change. People want to be able to place full trust in their laptops, and if Apple’s new products show signs of having flaws, it could still risk losing business despite its loyal customer base.
Apple Has Done This Before
This is not Apple’s first time taking on a challenging transition between different types of chips. In the mid-1990s, the company exchanged Motorola (MSI) chips that were in the first Macs for PowerPC chips, built through a collaboration between IBM (IBM) and Motorola.
Then, in the early 2000s, Apple switched from the original Mac OS to the Unix-based OS X operating system. In 2005, Apple transitioned from PowerPC to Intel chips. While this latest transition will be significant, Apple has had plenty of practice with successfully implementing similar changes.
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