Apple Flirted with an AMD-based MacBook Air, Intel was Plan B - HotHardware
Apple Flirted with an AMD-based MacBook Air, Intel was Plan B

Apple Flirted with an AMD-based MacBook Air, Intel was Plan B

As hard as it might be to believe, Apple came within inches of revamping its MacBook Air line with AMD's Llano platform. In fact, it was all set to go into production, but was abruptly cancelled last spring mainly because Apple lacked confidence in AMD's ability to supply enough parts. Intel, as it turns out, was Plan B.

That's according to SemiAccurate, which claims to have heard from multiple sources that AMD was a frontrunner in the MacBook Air sweepstakes for quite some time. Apple was drawn to AMD's superior graphics technology, even at the expense of inferior CPU power, and had AMD been able to supply enough premium versions of Llano, it could have scored a major win.


As SemiAccurate tells it, Apple was very close to producing MacBook Air models with AMD inside instead of Intel.

Instead it was Intel that muscled its way into the current generation of MacBook Air models, and according to SemiAccurate, that's the reason why the Air wasn't revamped last time around. Intel was Apple's second choice, its safety net, if you will.

This presents an interesting situation going forward. If AMD can get a grip on production, will the next generation of MacBook Air models still sport Intel inside? What's more, SemiAccurate reports Apple is considering ARM processors once 64-bit chips show up to the party.
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this would have been really good for amd. hopefully they can get the deal for the next gen

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"Too bad for AMD, I really would like for them to finally move forward, but with Intel's chip performing superiority, ARM getting in the action, Nvidia in it with Kalel and Wayne, the future seems a little dark. Still, I think that the Llano platform as good and as successful as it has been, I would think that the source might be half accurate. I believe in that they were considered, but the power consumption + CPU performance just doesn't cut it in Mac Book Air standards, especially for the battery life."

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To bad AMD couldnt get it together. This would have been huge for them in so many ways.

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I really wish AMD would have gotten this account, their research department could use a boost. On the other hand I do feel that Llano is a better platform for the air, I wouldn't be surprised if they went with AMD in a future refresh of the air.

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I'm starting to think that maybe cutting a few positions may have been a bad decision. I mean if those people were essential to providing AMD with supply then they just cost themselves a pretty penny. I mean Llano is good for the Air, it may not be as better then Intel but at least AMD work hard to give their APU's respectable performance, it's not like they're going to perform badly enough for anybody to buy them...

If AMD has another chance at getting that deal then they should; after they manage to increase chip production. I mean maybe it's a bad decision to focus on Bulldozer but it's not a lost cause and they are working on a revision for increased performance...

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well at least AMD wins at something.

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If AMD had gotten the nod, would Apple be selling the MacBook Air at a lower price-point?Confused

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I don't think so dave :D lol :P

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Inspector:

I don't think so dave :D lol :P

Right Inspector. I mean there's just so many things that go into calculating the Apple tax. There's the Mac OS X preinstalled, the precious metals mined from the glorious mines of Apple used to make the MacBook Air, and the percentage of the purchase price that goes into the Steve Jobs Memorial Fund.

Note: I don't think of Steve Jobs highly even though I respect his ability to think of things we never thought of before and his dedication to pushing his company forward in terms of green usage... Personally I don't like the way he ran his empire, locked down his devices and used a business model which the average consumer didn't mind but the knowledgeable people minded a lot. I mean sure, he makes good devices but why does he feel like all of the devices need to go through them; I mean can't we do the stuff ourselves if we know how to? I mean sure, it's the same for other PC's but people know when they're not knowledgeable enough to tinker with their computers...

I may buy his biography... But only to give a review on it; I mean it'd be interesting to know the things that he did but all in all, don't think of him highly and even think that his death is overrated.

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Man that sucks for AMD... sounds like they need a better sales person to convice people like Apple to use their chips. Most people would not have noticed a difference with what a Macbook Air is good for and Apple would have been able to make a higher profit in addition to providing AMD with a much needed boost in income.

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This is AMD's fault. It's GlobalFoundries that couldn't get good enough yields. AMD is no going with TMSC instead of GF for their next APUs.

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The blame for this disaster (because for AMD, missing out on such millions is a disaster) falls squarely on GF's shoulders (again). It's sad when a company you've spun off is still able to damage your pocket, especially a big account like Apple (I don't like their business, but they have enough people willing to buy the shiny things).

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