Apple is said to make an announcement on Monday about a move from IBM PowerPC to Intel processors. It is said Apple might shift low-end computers like the Mac mini to Intel processors by mid-2006, while high-end models such as the Power Mac would make the move by mid-2007.
Analysts believe Apple might drop the PowerPC processors because IBM hasn't turned out a broad enough line of PowerPC chips for Apple while it did managed to make a triple-core 3.2GHz PowerPC from Microsoft's Xbox 360. The move to Intel chips might make Apple's computers more competitive with systems from other manufacturers but it will be hard because of all the consequences.
All Mac software for instance will need to be rewritten, or emulated, because Intel's desktop processors use a totally different architecture than IBM's PowerPC. Mac software developers certainly won't be happy with the change to Intel's x86 processors.
Apple currently holds 2 percent of the computer market but this might decrease if Apple plans to move to Intel chips. Analysts believe the move might hurt Mac computer sales as consumers would rather wait for the new Intel-based platform than buying a platform which will be phased out soon.
Another serious problem would be marketing since Apple said for years that its PowerPC powered computers are much faster at some tasks than Intel's Pentium processors.
More news will follow on Monday from the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.