According to Steve Jobs, Apple Computer is ontrack to ship Intel based Macintosh computers by June 2006. Jobs said at the recent Apple Expo (Paris) that "We said we'd be shipping by next June, and we are on track to have that be a true statement."
Apple made announcements several months ago that the company was changing CPU suppliers from IBM to Intel because IBM could not deliver faster processors that the marketplace demands. To properly compete, Apple needs to have a computer available that is at least 3 GHz, something that IBM has not been able to deliver with the Power line of processors.
Apple presently uses the PowerPC 970FX processor (G5), that is a single-core chip. IBM has recently upgraded that chip to the 970MP whose dual-core technologies could deliver a preformance increase of 50-80 percent. Apple could debut this new processor in late September, with CPU speeds of 1.4 to 2.5 GHz.
Also this week, I found out that Apple updated OS X 10.4, and shipped this code to developers, along with 10.4 for the Intel platform. It is good to know that Apple is encouraging the development of the OS, and preparing vendors for the switch, so that vendor's will write code for the new platform. I am still looking for information to see if Apple is developing a Virtual Machine for running the older code on the new hardware. They did a splendid job with the VM when the platform migrated from Motorola 680x0 to Power PC back in the early 1990's.
Personally, I am excited for the Intel changeover -- from my work with PC's, I can see that Intel has delivered some fine solutions out there for the Windows and Linux people. For some reason, the "Intel Inside" logo is no longer seen as a warning symbol... it will be quite a sight to see one of those stickers right next to a shinny apple. Apple has also stated that they are writing OS X so that it only works with "special" Intel components... parts of me wish that Apple would just open the door and let the software flow onto any Wintel computer, but looking at it from a support standpoint, there are a lot of odds-and-ends hardware out there that Apple would suddenly have to support. Having Apple certified components certainly makes the troubleshooting a lot easier.