Thanks to ARM technology, Apple has become the worlds second biggest company (valued at $322 Billion) after Exxon Mobil (valued at $411 Billion). Before using ARM, Apple was in near bankruptcy, and then they got the idea to make those ARM Powered iPod. And as the obvious thing in 2007 they introduced the ARM Powered iPhone. The iPhone now stands for more than 50% of Apple's $70 Billion yearly revenues and the iPhone may actually represent more than 75% of Apple's yearly $17 Billion profit.
ARM is the best way to make huge profits.
And Apple needs to find all ways to keep making big profits, as their share is priced so high, it can only stay as high for as long as they can find ways to continue to make huge profits.
The iPhone may provide Apple with as much as 334% profit margins. ($150 BOM and $650 average sale price)
The iPad may provide Apple with about 155% profit margins. ($225 BOM and $575 average sale price)
The Macbook Air, while expensive, probably only provide Apple with 64% profit margin. ($700 BOM and $1200 average sale price)
This is Apple's ARM Powered laptop plan:
Make the thinner, lighter ARM Powered OSX laptop, with a Pixel Qi type screen they could achieve 30 hours battery runtime or more. It would cost them only $300 to make (BOM) and Apple probably thinks they can still sell it for at least $799 that's a 166% profit margin, nearly 3x more profits for Apple compared to them still using Intel.
The question for Apple R&D is only this one, should they go ahead and use Apple A5 ARM Cortex-A9 (clocked higher than in iPad2's 861Mhz) with some faster memory bandwidth design, put in there some more RAM and optimize their OSX/iOS mashup software for a release before this years Christmas already? Or should Apple wait for Apple A6 ARM Cortex-A15 and to try and have that ready for mass selling before Christmas 2012 at the latest? How do you think Apple will make that OSX/iOS ARM based OS mashup work for their next Macbook? (post in the comments)
You have to consider, I am not suggesting that Apple will succeed in continuing to keep making so huge profits on ARM Powered devices. I for example believe that the $87 Android Smartphones and the diversity in high-end Android smartphones is a significant threat to Apple's iPhone profit margins and marketshare*. Though I am definitely sure that Apple will continue to make 100x more profits on their ARM Powered devices compared to their Intel based devices, and that thus Apple is obviously aiming to shift their Notebook line to ARM as soon as possible.
* especially if they continue making design mistakes like the Anntenna not working in left hand and the iOS devices recording your every move for years in an unencrypted cache file any friend/enemy/backdoor-hacker can snoop on over 100 million iOS device users until they manually decide to upgrade with their new 666MB iOS upgrade file.
- Acer to focus more on ARM Powered devices (armdevices.net)
- Rumor: Apple To Replace Intel Chips With ARM Processors On Laptops? (macstories.net)
- Apple Reportedly Looking To Move From Intel To ARM Processors (thenextweb.com)
- Apple ditching Intel for ARM in future MacBooks tip insiders (slashgear.com)
- Apple reportedly plans ARM shift for laptops (go.theregister.com)
- IDC: ARM-Powered Devices, Such As Apple's iPad Can Be Classified a PC Device (cultofmac.com)