Let them eat FUD: Scare-mongering Apple’s chip transition

It's hardly time to throw your Intel-based Macs in the trash.


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Who’s hungry? Well, muscle up to the buffet because your server from the Forbes contributor network and competitive Chutes and Ladders circuit has just refilled all the trays with heaping servings of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Ewan Spence says “Apple Drives Away From Your Intel MacBook Pro.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick.)

That’s right! Daddy Tim Cook is going out for cigarettes and he’s not coming back. His new family loves him more and is better looking, anyway. And the refrigerator art? Mmmmwah! No more of your lousy stick figures. And all your crying. Ugh.

…the current MacBook Pro lineage has reached the end of the line.

Spence keeps repeating this like the “Best if used by” date expired at WWDC and your stoopid Intel-based MacBooks are now useless.

The question of just how compatible and usable older apps built for the Intel platform will be when run on the ARM platform has not been demonstrated in public.

No, it has not been “demonstrated in public” because so far only developers have Macs based on Apple silicon and the units released aren’t even close to being fully optimized yet. But when benchmarks were run and were predictably modest, Steve Troughton-Smith noted:

So the [Developer Transition Kit] with a two year old iPad chip runs x86_64 code, in emulation, faster than the Surface Pro X runs it natively

Are there going to be some legacy apps that don’t run as fast as recompiled apps run natively? Almost certainly. But there will also be new apps that run faster and do more while using less power. Is this the Mac future we’re supposed to be afraid of?

Spence is writing again about Apple’s transition to its own chips and somehow still manages to not mention that Apple’s done this several times before and it’s all worked out pretty well. These concerns made slightly more sense when it was questionable whether or not developers would see the value in continuing to support Apple’s platform. But now? Not so much.

As the new platform gathers pace, developers will switch their attention away from the legacy versions to focus on the latest updates on the new platform.

Sure, but it’s also not like Apple’s software architecture decisions on Intel never caused this. The migration to 64-bit-only and sandboxing presented the same problems. Being a developer means balancing the rollout of features. Despite Spence’s concern trolling, the current installed base of Intel-based Macs means no sane developer is going to wake up the day after Apple ships Macs with its own chips and say “It’s Apple silicon only from now on, suckers!” You can do that, but you’re not going to sell a lot of software that way.

If after all this gorging on FUD you still find yourself hungry, don’t worry because there’s dessert. Spence closes by raising the specter of Apple using this transition to lock down the Mac in the same way the iPhone is locked down, something Apple has not indicated it has any intention of doing.

Since no one is going to movie houses these days, the Macalope supposes Spence feels okay yelling “Fire!” in one.

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