Apple announces first fruits of Intel alliance

11 Jan 2006

As had been widely expected, Apple has launched its first computers powered by Intel processors. The company said the new machines operate faster than their predecessors.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the wraps off the new iMac featuring Mac OS X running on the new Intel Core Duo processor at the annual Macworld conference yesterday. “It is the first of a new generation of Macs,” said Jobs. “How do we make something this good even better? We’re going to offer it in the same sizes, 17 and 20 inch … we’re going to offer the same award-winning design that has caused people to say ‘Where did the computer go’?”

He added that the latest iMac comes with the same built-in features as its predecessor and costs the same. The computer is available to buy now and pricing starts at €1,399 incl Vat.

Jobs claimed that the new machine offers performance between twice and three times as fast as the previous model, which uses the PowerPC G5 processor. “That is because we are building in Intel’s latest and greatest technology,” he said. “This is an amazing chip that’s got two processors on one die … each of these processors is in itself faster than the G5.”

Apple also launched its new MacBook Pro, the company’s first notebook computer to be based on an Intel chip. The new portable, which will go on sale next month, is said to deliver up to four times the performance of the PowerBook G4. Similar to its desktop equivalent, the MacBook Pro also runs the Core Duo processor. Pricing will start from €2,179 incl Vat.

The launch of the Intel-based computers completes an aggressive timescale for Apple. Last June, when it first announced its shock alliance with Intel, the company said that the first fruits of the deal would be available one year from then but yesterday’s announcements trump that schedule by several months. By the end of 2007 all of Apple’s Macintosh machines will run Intel processors.

At Macworld Apple also announced new versions of its iLife digital lifestyle software and iWork productivity software, as well as a remote control that lets users skip tracks or change the volume of their iPod music player while it is in their pocket. The remote also lets users listen to FM radio stations, a feature that the iPod has not had until now.

By Gordon Smith