Is Apple Waiting ‘Til Intel Conversion To Allow 3rd Party Apps On IPhone?

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) caused quite a bit of angst when it updated the iPhone so that unlocked handsets just wouldn’t work anymore… El Reg suggests the reason is that Apple plans to move from ARM chips to Intel (NSDQ: INTC) chips and doesn’t want to go through the hassle and expense of handling the transition so that apps written for the current platform will work on the new one. The article has the full argument with technical details, and notes a few times the move to Intel is from “Taiwanese moles” and unverified. However, this paragraph is worrying: “It’s said the shift would take place with ‘Moorestown’, the follow-up to next year’s version of UMP, aka ‘Menlow’. Moorestown is due to become available in the 2009/2010 timescale, according to Intel, so if Apple does shift to Intel, it’ll almost certainly happen with the third generation of iPhone.” Apart from putting the generation cycle of the iPhone at one year instead of the six months more usual in the handset industry, if the statement is correct it means Apple doesn’t want anyone developing third-party apps for the iPhone for 2-3 years, which is a huge amount of time in the mobile industry.

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