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Apple may move to ARM as early as Q3 2012

KitGuru reported on the insider information that Apple may move to ARM chip designs in at least some of their Macbook range down the line. It appears this has been verified by Barclays Capital hardware analyst Ben Reitzes.

He says We believe that Apple will be the first in our sector to embrace ARM for some Macs, as early as C2H12.”

“We believe that Apple is already working hard on the software to accomplish this feat within the MacBook Air line-up. Through its own development of ARM-based processors and ARM-based iOS software, this migration would be rather natural for Apple. Apple is already moving toward enhanced battery life and ultra portability with its current MacBook Air line, which uses NAND instead of HDDs.”

It also means Apple could release less expensive versions of their MacBook range of computers with slower processors.

With Microsoft saying at CES this year that they are offering support for ARM in Windows 8 it looks as if the industry may swing a little towards the British chip maker, if even just to cover a wider audience in the mobile sector. The upside of ARM adoption is that Microsoft may be forced to drop prices of their operating systems.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard has a different view on this, saying “The solution is for Intel to become Apple’s foundry and for Apple to integrate an Intel Atom core in its designs. In our view, Intel would pick up Apple’s volume, driving revenue growth at good (not great) gross margin. Intel would also benefit from becoming a key supplier in smartphones and tablets and drive growth. Intel would maintain dominance at the high-end of the PC market.”

KitGuru says: Right now no one is sure how this will go, but Intel are certainly feeling pressure from ARM.

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