Backstage: Apple switches to Intel; iPod impact, zero (for now)


It’s over—the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote speech, delivered by Steve Jobs. And the “news” for iPod fans is good: none. iTunes will support podcasting, a revelation made two weeks ago, while iPods and iTunes continue to steamroll their competitors in market share. No new iPods were announced, no new version of iTunes is shipping – it’s all quiet on the music front.

Backstage: Apple switches to Intel; iPod impact, zero (for now)

And the biggest announcement of the day, Apple’s switch to Intel chips for its Macintosh computers, appears set to have zero impact on current-generation iPod owners. Apple’s Mac applications—as well as third-party ones—won’t run any differently on the new Mac computers, and that process won’t begin until next year, anyway. iTunes will continue to be cross-platform, etc., etc.

The real issue is whether reports from Wired and the like regarding Apple’s interest in specific Intel chips, namely ones with advanced (and potentially consumer-unfriendly) digital rights management hardware, are accurate. If so, the next generation of Intel Macs could be perfectly poised to permit fair use transferring of, say, DVD content onto Apple-developed portable devices. But what about current PowerPC-based Macs? Surely Apple wouldn’t leave all of its current Mac customers behind? And owners of non-DRM equipped PCs, for that matter?

So the net effect for iPod music lovers appears to be basically nothing. Next-generation iPods, though? We’ll see.

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Jeremy Horwitz

Jeremy Horwitz was the Editor-in-Chief at iLounge. He has written over 5,000 articles and reviews for the website and is one of the most respected members of the Apple media. Horwitz has been following Apple since the release of the original iPod in 2001. He was one of the first reviewers to receive a pre-release unit of the device, and his review helped put iLounge on the map as a go-to source for Apple news.