Will Apple’s move away from Intel cause software complications?

Bloomberg has revealed that Apple will stop using Intel chips in its Mac computers by 2020, but what effect will this have on software developers rushing into recording their software on new Apple processers?

The American multinational technology company will use in-house designed processors, the same way it manufactures its iPads and iPhones.

Most Intel-based Macs have been on the market since June 2007, when its last-ever PowerPC-based Mac was released.

Before 2007, Apple used IBM’s processor development which built the G5 chip, but the firm was “clearly not impressed”.

‘Major issues with software developers’

Originally, Apple thought that Intel would progress a lot better than IBM, leading the firm to design Rosetta for Intel versions of every OS X.

Rosetta OS X originated as an operating system called OpenStep and NextStep, which was originally used on Motorola-based chips before Intel chips.

Following OS X, Apple announced another technology that runs PowerPC Mac programmes on Intel-based Macs, but, unfortunately, this did not support classic apps that require G4 and G5 processors.

Now, Apple’s A-series of processors are all created for different purposes, based on an architecture licensed from British firm ARM.

‘Competitive differentiation’

Apple has now stopped supporting Rosetta OS X, so old software running on Apple devices will not process.

This will eventually stop supporting Intel software, which could cause major issues with software developers rushing into recording their software on new Apple processers.

“We think that Apple is looking at ways to further integrate their hardware and software platforms, and they’ve clearly made some moves in this space, trying to integrate iOS and macOS,” said an analyst at Cross Research.

“It makes sense that they’re going in this direction. If you look at incremental R&D spend, it’s gone into ways to try to vertically integrate their components so they can add more functionality for competitive differentiation.”

This incentive is still in the early stages of development.

Written by Leah Alger