Apple: The iPad Faces Unprecedented Competition

Ashraf Eassa profile picture
Ashraf Eassa

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air, as well as the 10" iPad, may be coming under fire in a way that most people don't expect. I believe that the upcoming "threat" to Apple's market share in the mainstream computing space (iPad/MacBook Air price levels) can be protected, but it will require that the company take a long, hard look at the strategy that it is currently pursuing.

Intel's Low Power "Baytrail" Opens The Floodgates

Intel (INTC), which is the chip supplier for Apple's Mac products, recently disclosed its 22nm low power "Atom" processor core, which looks to be quite robust. The core is called "Silvermont," which is a brand-new, grounds-up redesign of the firm's "Atom" processors. Now, the Atoms have historically been known for being slow and nearly unusable compared to the higher end chips in the PC world, but thanks to the threat from alternative architectures, Intel decided to go into full throttle here. According to the Intel technical representatives at the announcement, this is a chip that was architected from the ground up for high performance at extremely low power levels.

Anandtech, the world's leading hardware review site, had this to say,

On single threaded performance, you should expect a 2.4GHz Silvermont to perform like a 1.2GHz Penryn. To put it in perspective of actual systems, we're talking about around the level of performance of an 11-inch Core 2 Duo MacBook Air from 2010. Keep in mind, I'm talking about single threaded performance here.

Now, get this: Intel will be able to place four of these "Silvermont" cores into an SoC (called "Baytrail-M") which could go into a fanless Windows 8 and Android convertible devices that cost as little as $200!

What does this have to do with Apple, then?

iPad Becomes Obsolete, MacBook Air Under Fire

The obvious implication

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Ashraf Eassa profile picture
Hi there! I used to write articles here and elsewhere, but no longer do so. I have provided my Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile below.

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