Analysts have said that if the transition to a new processor architecture happens it will be in a few years, but it's very possible. It is known that iOS is based on OS X (and BSD) and is functional on ARM, which Apple began testing and recompiling in 2007. As currently the most popular Apple products are those that use ARM's architecture for the main processor and not notebooks and desktops based on Intel, there is no real obstacle for Apple to boldly make this step and complete the transition to ARM in all aspects of their builds.
Unlike Microsoft, which is expected to support the parallel development of applications for both x86 and ARM, Apple is likely to turn to a single processor platform as it has so far used ARM based products very successfully.
[Ed – We would not be surprised to find out that Apple’s agreement with Intel is getting ready to run out. This means that they (Apple) would need to renegotiate the deal with Intel. In the past Apple has always chosen to use these time as a step-stone to bring in a new partner. Apple has never been one to keep partners around and discard them when they feel there is no more gain to be had. We do think that this move is a very bad one for Apple as ARM based processors are simply not able to keep up with x86 CPUs at all. It is highly likely that instead of completely abandoning Intel they may look into building a line of ARM based consumer products, but diving in to the ARM waters headfirst would be a very bad move for Apple…]
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