More on Apple Moving to Intel

This topic came up during the LQ Radio Show last night, and I noticed this article today. The article makes a point that I hadn't thought of. Apple can now move to a single manufacturer for all products by using Intel's XScale in the iPod. They are putting all their eggs in one basket, but Intel is a pretty big basket. The fact that a laptop G5 was continually delayed probably didn't help, but I don't think it was the deciding factor. But, why would Apple need something as powerful as an XScale for the iPod. I've seen rumors that it's for a “PSP killer”, which would be a cool device. Surely though Apple realizes that the market for mobile video is a fraction of mobile audio. People use their iPod's while running, working, walking, driving and pretty much doing anything. The mobile video market is relegated more to frequent travelers and people who use public transportation to get to work. Most people want to watch movies on their HDTV's with surround sound. It's not a minuscule market, but not one I'd want to develop a killer product around. Now, that doesn't mean that video in addition to what the iPod currently does wouldn't be interesting. The thought of being able to buy movies at the iTunes store is extremely cool. And then the light goes on. What is one thing that Intel has that IBM doesn't (especially with the announcement of the new G5)? DRM. Intel is all over DRM at the chip level…and IBM isn't. Surely if Jobs wants to get the MPAA and others on board, DRM is going to be huge. Now they have it. Having an XScale would also allow for an iSight/iPod combo that turns into a camcorder. Add to that the fact that Apple will be able to get better volume pricing and the ability to run Windows and Linux apps and the decision starts to look like a no brainer. Intel wins too as they will finally be able to showcase a cool x86 box (remember the Mac mini-lookalike that was only an empty box). The only question I have left is, do we need to call them iNtel now?
–jeremy
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