I have felt since the announcement of Apple’s switch to Intel that they chose the wrong chip. Perhaps the Intel architecture, that is to say the x86 architecture, was the right choice, but the supplier was the wrong choice. Apple should have chosen AMD.
Of course there are some good reasons why Apple did not choose AMD, both technical and business. It appears that AMD could not have supplied the necessary production capacity to match Apple’s needs and having Intel as a business partner is rarely a bad business move. However the Intel path to success looks remarkably like the Microsoft one: aggressive marketing, cut-throat pricing, and monopolistic behavior.
AMD has taken market share over the last few years from Intel and while they currently lag behind Intel in terms of speed, they have shown an ability to innovate faster than Intel, the 64 bit processor comes to mind. AMD would spur, and in fact has helped spur, innovation in the chip market and would have further increased the pace had Apple chosen them. Furthermore Apple could have freed itself from a reliance on a partner that is not truly committed to Apple’s success because Intel is always going to protect its large customer Microsoft.
There are rumors that a new relationship with AMD is afoot. That may or may not be true, but if it does come to pass, I think it can only be good for Apple and the community at large. Apple is not afraid of innovation and new technologies like the Internet in the way Microsoft is, their potential partnership with AMD could lead to even more innovation.