Home > Features > Feature Article

Impact on Mac Sales

When Apple Computer announced its startling plans to switch to Intel's x86 processors beginning next year, the general press was quick to react with both positive and negative assessments. On the immediate negative side, as many Wall Street analysts were correct to point out, was that end users may question the logic of purchasing further IBM and Motorola PowerPC chip based Macintosh computers in the interim between mid 2005 and the early part of 2006. To make matters worse, Apple said they weren't expecting to produce professional computers with Intel chips until sometime as late as 2007. Analysts were correct to question a serious slowing down of sales of Macintosh computers, reasoning that users would prefer to wait for the Intel Macs.

In regards to the professional Macintosh user, Architosh decided to feel out the market for a reaction to this news. What we found was both surprising and reassuring. The reassuring part was that current pro CAD users on the Mac understand with a high degree of confidence as to what this transition will mean to them. After all, they have been through it before. Hence, for them there is absolutely no sense that this is a cause for panic or for considering switching platforms (Mac to Windows). The surprising part was that pro Mac users don't see the Intel announcement affecting their PowerPC purchase decisions at all.

Architect and IT professional, Stephane Laroye, of the Vancouver-based architecture firm, Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden Architects said the change was unlikely to affect their purchasing decisions of current G5-based desktops. "We are thrilled with the performance of the G5. However, the use of Intel chips may finally allow us access to some of the high end graphics cards currently available only to PCs."

Stephane's comments illustrate an interesting optimism shared by many pro users who see nothing particularly wrong with Apple's current crop of pro machines. Yet, they are quick to point out excitement about those items that the Mac platform has failed to obtain over the years -- workstation class graphics cards being a particularly desired item.

Other AEC professionals said that their purchasing cycles are more tied directly to their businesses than to what Apple or Intel is doing with chips and machines. "In our firm, purchases tend to be made on an ongoing 'as needed' basis," said Andrew Bobyn, MAIBC, MArch, an associate architect at Cornerstone Architecture in Canada. "Project and staff scheduling probably has more of an immediate effect on hardware purchases than processor type," said Andrew. "That being said, however, I imagine some firms may delay some less critical hardware purchases, until the newer machines are revealed."

However, some professionals we spoke to brought up the fact that purchasing Macintosh machines today will affect them, likely, when these machines are phased out in the future. Grant Brumpton, BCSLA, a landscape architect in British Columbia with the firm, PWL Partnership Landscape Architecture, said that "as the year or so progresses, until Intel Macs are released, it will definitely affect purchases decisions with regards to addressing obsolescence." Continuing he remarked: "Expansion of our office work force will mean we will likely continue to make Mac purchases within this window."

Performance Concerns

When it comes to the state of Mac performance, the move to Intel has drawn mixed reaction across the board. Many users who are deeply embedded in 3d work flows have wondered why Apple chose Intel over AMD, since many professionals consider their Opterons superior to anything Intel has to offer.

Continued >

page | 1 | 2 | 3 |



Home > Features > Feature Article


NBC on iTunes





  | Corrections | About Architosh | Awards & Press Reaction |
| Site Map |

Privacy Notice | Contact Us | How to Advertise | Corporate Sponsorship |
Copyright © 1999 - 2008. BritasMedia Publications. All Rights Reserved.
Architosh™ and the ToshLetter™ are trademarks of BritasMedia™

Quantified - Quantcast