Musing on the Apple-to-Intel transition, there are a couple points that come to mind.
- Jobs and company recognized the need for a bet-the-company transition if Apple’s desktop and laptop computers are to remain relevant. Better to make the bet now rather than wait through a long painful decline.
- Apple is using the announced transition to Intel to give IBM a chance to get their act together. If it is possible for IBM to deliver competitive hardware at competitive prices to meet Apple’s needs, then the Apple folks could simply decide to de-emphasize or punt on the transition to Intel. This is a win for Apple, IBM, and customers - if IBM is capable. If IBM cannot deliver then the transition goes ahead.
- Perhaps Apple as a manufacturer of computers can no longer be kept relevant. The alternative is for Apple to become a software company. If Apple software runs on Intel computers then existing PC manufacturers can be used to make hardware for Apple.
The last item occurred to me since the earlier post - and seems to complete the equation. If the most likely outcome is that Apple will essentially become a software company, then it makes some sense to pre-announce the transition to Intel, and kill the sales of the IBM PowerPC based computers.
Yet another speculation :).