Yes, Mac OS X Lion is obviously very iOS-like, and now we’re hearing again that Mac OS X and iOS will begin merging late next year into a single unified OS. This is speculation according to Jeffries & Co analyst Peter Misek, who also suggests the parts of the Mac lineup will be moved away from Intel CPU’s after the introduction of a quad-core A6 CPU.
The speculative report suggests the big changes will start at the end of 2012, and the first Mac to move to an ARM A6 CPU would be the MacBook Air, followed several years later by the MacBook Pro and iMac lineup. Here’s the meat of the post on Barrons:
“We believe Apple is looking to merge iOS (iPhones/iPads) with OS X (Macs) into a single platform for apps and cloud services starting in 2012-13.” Specifically, Misek sees the Macbook Air gaining Apple’s next processor, the “A6,” as he calls it, in the second half of 2012, or some time in 2013, following the debut of the chip in the “iPad 3” in the first quarter of 2012, and in the “iPhone 5” next summer.
Misek thinks MacBook “Pro” models and Mac desktops will stick with the current software and Intel processors in order to maximize 64-bit application compatibility, but that they, too, will switch over to an iOS platform by 2016.Misek suggests the motivation behind the OS X and iOS merger is for better gross margins and licensing deals, where purchased media content will work on any device and be available via iCloud – although apparently nobody told the analyst this ability already exists now with iTunes.
This really isn’t terribly surprising speculation, and we’ve heard talk of Apple ditching Intel CPU’s before. Also, both iOS and Mac OS X are built upon the same underlying architecture anyway, so merging the two in name wouldn’t be a particularly shocking event. Apple does seem to be easing Mac users into an eventual transition with the introduction of things like Launchpad, fullscreen apps, and other iOS-like features embedded into OS X Lion.
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