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December 30, 2005

Intel's Great 'Leap' Forward Paves Way For Apple

Intel's Yonah processor is expected to be seen in Apple's products in the first quarter of 2006.

Courtesy of TechWeb News

As Apple Computer drives forward into the Intel processor-dominated home entertainment world, the only question that remains is whether everything will be ready for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, when Steve Jobs takes the podium at Macworld in San Francisco.

Intel began setting the stage this week with the announcement that it is replacing its timeworn "Intel Inside" slogan and replacing it with "Leap Ahead", which seems to dovetail nicely with Apple's "Think Different" logo. Both companies are now headed directly toward the home entertainment category.

Intel's Yonah processor, which is expected to be used in Apple's offerings, will be explained in more detail by Intel at next week's Consumer Electronics Show. There are different versions of the Yonah, and Apple watcher Think Secret reports that the Yonah Viiv media center version will be unveiled at Macworld. Think Secret, which delights in announcing Apple products before Apple does and much to Apple's consternation, believes several different Yonah processors will find their way into different Apple products in the first quarter of 2006.

Another Apple watcher, emsnow, reported this week that Quanta will serve as original design manufacturer (ODM) of Apple's coming high-level M1 and PowerBook model while Asustek will do entry level machines including an i-Book. In all, Apple has been targeting four Intel-based models for introduction in the first quarter. Other published reports have indicated that Intel is developing motherboards for the new Apple models at its Intel Oregon facilities.

The Macworld show promises to feature additional product unveilings from Apple including new iPod announcements and improved iMacs, iBooks, Mac Minis, and PowerBooks.

Another software giant with a growing interest in home multimedia entertainment that is scheduled to exhibit at Macworld is Microsoft, which notes that it is "the largest, 100 percent Mac-focused developer of Mac software outside of Apple itself."

In embracing Apple and its drive into home entertainment including music and video solutions, many observers believe Intel may be upsetting the delicate processor ecosystem, particularly ever-loyal Dell Computer. Dell isn't expected to sit idly by while Apple continues its move into consumer computing products.

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