From the NYTimes article presaging Jobs big news for tomorrow’s Apple developer conference: Apple Plans to Switch From I.B.M. to Intel for Chips
The first move in the complex industry realignment now taking place was made more than a year ago when Microsoft broke with Intel and said that it would use an I.B.M. processor chip, similar to the one used by Apple for its Macintoshes, in the second version of its Xbox video game machine.
What Microsoft has made clear recently is that the new Xbox, to be called the 360, will be much more than a video game player when it reaches store shelves this fall. It will perform a range of home entertainment functions, like connecting to the Internet, playing DVD movies and displaying high-definition television shows as well as serving as a wireless data hub for the home.
Microsoft’s decision to build its own computer hardware, with help from I.B.M., was a direct assault on a market that Intel was counting on for future growth. It is likely that Intel forged the alliance with Apple in an effort to counter the powerful home entertainment and game systems coming from Microsoft and Sony.
While the new partnership is a clear and long-coveted win for Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, it portends a potentially troublesome shift for Apple, the iconoclastic maker of sleek personal computers and consumer electronics gadgets.
Friday’s Slashdot - Apple Switching To Intel Chips In 2006
My own guess? Apple may be going to Intel to make a PPC that with the performance that IBM promised, but couldn’t/wouldn’t deliver — but it’s only a guess at this point. It *is* hard to imagine a shift to Intel x86, though I’m less sure about Itanium. Should make for an interesting day tomorrow <G>
Later: Another NYTimes profile - Apple Plans to Switch From I.B.M. to Intel for Chips