The latest rumor comes from a comment by Barclay analyst Ben Reitzes, who seems to think there is not only some sense in Apple pursuing Mac OS X on ARM chips but believes–much as we mentioned we do here–that Apple is already hard at work on this process.
“We believe that Apple will be the first in our sector to embrace ARM for some Macs, as early as C2H12…” (I believe you read that as second half of calendar year 2012).
“We believe that Apple is already working hard on the software to accomplish this feat within the MacBook Air line-up,” continued Reitzes. “Through its own development of ARM-based processors and ARM-based iOS software, this migration would be rather natural for Apple.”
Joshual Schnell over at Macgasm has a good post questioning the logic of such a decision and specifically mentions Autodesk in his post. Concerning the fact that many major companies have begun to adopt OS X development because Apple is on Intel he questions whether they would be willing to pursue a chip architecture change of this magnitude. He writes: “Also, what about all those giant companies (Blizzard, Autodesk) that have titles for OS X now? Are they willing to design their products around ARM?”
Given that most longtime OS X developers have just completed an extensive chip architecture transition just a few years ago (moving from PPC to Intel) we think this is a very good and reasonable question.
Blurring the edge of OS X and iOS
Apple is already starting to blur the edge between its OS X platform and the iOS platform. Multitouch is already on OS X and has been for quite some time. It will continue to morph on OS X devices. While we think Apple is literally working on OS X for ARM and while we believe there will be some mobility on there coming up, the question of whether they will fully leave Intel is truly up for grabs.