On today’s show we’re going to take a brief detour from the world of real estate investing to unpack one of the largest technology announcements to come out this year. Unless you are involved deeply in the guts of the high tech industry, you may have a hard time understanding the significance of the latest Apple announcement.
Prior to moving into the world of real estate investing, I was a microprocessor designer and I used to manage microprocessor development teams. I have processors designed into all kinds of applications all over the world. This is a world that I know deeply, so I thought that taking 5 minutes to share a perspective on the latest announcement by Apple would be a good use of 5 minutes.
So here we go.
Last week Apple announced that they were moving away from the Intel architecture of chips to the ARM architecture. The question is, “What does this really mean for you as a user of these devices?”
A few years ago, they upgraded the operating system on the iPhone to include many of the elements from MacOS. There are three primary operating systems in use in computers today. Windows which has majority share of the desktop computer market, Android which has majority share of the mobile devices, and Unix with all of the various linux variants that make up the majority of the server world. The Mac Operating System was based on Unix technology. It’s the most robust industrial strength operating system out there, and is the least prone to security breaches. So when Apple introduced many of these elements to the iPhone, the iPhone really became a robust computer.
Apple is trying to find a way to blur the lines between the desktop computing platform that you find on their desktop computers and notebooks, and the mobile computing platform that you experience on the iPhone and iPad family of devices. Mac applications don’t work on the iPhone and iPhone applications don’t work on the Mac, up until know.
The second major difference comes in the realm of battery life and overall performance.
The way to think of the difference between the Intel chips and the newly designed Apple chips is like comparing the difference between a Ferrari and a Volkswagen. The Ferrari is much more expensive. It’s a much faster car under perfect conditions like a race track. But in real world rush hour traffic conditions in Los Angeles or Dallas, a Ferrari and a Volkswagen will perform remarkably the same. The Ferrari might beat the Volkswagen through a few traffic lights, but the real difference will be small. Most importantly, the Ferrari will use a lot more fuel to get the same job done. So which car is truly better? The answer is it depends. The Intel chips are more like the Ferrari and the Apple M1 chip is more like the Volkswagen. The Volkswagen will use a lot less fuel.
The Apple M1 chip will consume less power than the Intel chip and therefore will have longer battery life. Apple is claiming up to 18 hours of video streaming on a Macbook. No other device on the market comes close to that kind of battery life.