There has been a lot of speculation as to whether Apple product prices in South Africa will be reduced, once Apple starts rolling out its Intel-based systems.
Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk, director of Apple IMC Southern Africa, believes, however, that the use of the Intel CPU will not make that much of a difference to the prices. “I believe that the rand/dollar exchange rate will have more of an effect on the pricing than the fact that we will start using Intel CPUs.”
According to the company, it will start rolling out machines with Intel CPUs sometime in 2006, but these CPUs will first be used in low-end units. “At the moment Intel does not have a CPU that matches the performance of some of the IBM PowerPCs that we use in our systems,” he says.
However, Intel’s road map shows that, in the not too distant future, Intel will be able to provide the higher performance CPUs that will be needed by Apple. “We have decided to use Intel processors in our future products for purely technological reasons,” states Van Spaandonk.
With Apple’s decision to start using Intel processors, the question of whether users will be able to run Apple’s Mac operating system (OS) X on a PC, or Microsoft’s Windows on a Mac, is on the tip of everybody’s tongue. However, Apple has made it clear that the Mac OS will install only on Mac hardware.
As for Windows running on Mac hardware, according to the company it already does. “All users need to do is start the Windows emulator,” Van Spaandonk says.
According to Van Spaandonk the change to Intel processors will be completely transparent to the user. “The software running on the new Macs will be completely processor-independent,” he states.
Apple will also include emulation technology called Rosetta, which will enable users to run applications that were built for the PowerPC, and, according to the company, performance will not be hampered at all.