A hello to ARMs: The next generation of Apple tropes

The rumors of Apple switching the Mac to its own ARM processors has The Macalope reminiscing about the good ol' days.

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Rumors are running rampant—as that is the only way they know how to run—that Apple will announce at WWDC that it is ditching using Intel chips in Macs in favor of its A-series chips.

Ah, rumors. How The Macalope loves to watch you stride majestically across the plains, moving in waves as if like the murmuration of starlings and, yes, sometimes tripping on your own hooves and falling face-first into a ravine, bouncing comically down the side until exploding like a Pinto packed with dynamite.

(Every serving of The Macalope comes with a free mixed metaphor salad.)

Surely this will come as a great disappointment to Rob Enderle who five years ago said the only smart move for Apple would be to give up making its own ARM chips and use those of Qualcomm instead. And the fact that Qualcomm was a client of Enderle’s certainly had nothing to do with it. Please. It’s just science.

If this rumor is true, and The Macalope thinks it almost certainly is, it has the horny one wondering about its potential effect on an old saw of the pundit community. Actually, “ancient saw” is probably more accurate. Like a saw that is so old it’s actually made out of wood. Or it’s so old it’s just the idea of a saw.

“It would be kind of cool to have a thing that would cut wood. Well, maybe some day we will!”

The saw The Macalope is talking about, of course, is the nigh-timeless advice that “Apple should get out of the hardware business and license the macOS to OEMs.”

Just reading that sentence makes The Macalope a bit misty thinking about the good old days. It’s an idea as old as the Mac itself and has survived three hardware architectures: the Motorola 68000, the PowerPC and Intel. It’s going to be a tough sell, however, when Macs run on Apple’s own chips. Not that it’s fared terribly well of late anyway.

The concept usually had more to do with the idea that Apple was obviously in some kind of trouble and desperately needed the advice of pundits and analysts about how to fix itself. Now that Apple’s the first U.S. company to hit a valuation of $1.5 trillion, it’s a little harder to claim it needs anyone’s advice about anything, let alone the suggestion that it outsource a major component of its business.

Back in 2006, however, Gartner suggested Apple should get out of the business of making Macs and have Dell do it.

"Apple should leverage its close relationship with Intel and team up with Intel's closest ally, Dell," the report states.

The Macalope felt he had to supply a quote to show that was an actual thing that someone actually suggested. You try to tell that to kids today and they won’t believe you. And, frankly, The Macalope doesn’t blame them. You are not wrong, youth of today! It was the pundits of yore who were wrong.

You’d think that Apple switching to Intel would have provided a new lease on life for this idea, but instead it’s mostly withered on the vine, having only come up once or twice since Gartner’s more famous pronouncement. The Macalope feels just terrible about the fact that pundits are no longer able to languidly lean on this trope so, assuming Apple does announce next week that Macs will be transitioning to the company’s own chips, the furry one would like to suggest a new line of attack:

In the spirit of fairness, Apple must open up and sell its A-series chips to other OEMs.

Oh, man, they’re really going to write that, aren’t they.

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