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Apple move to ARM chips would make sense, analyst says

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Apple may be considering moving away from chip-maker Intel toward its rival ARM in the coming years, Bloomberg reported. That would come as a blow to Intel, currently the world’s largest maker of processors, which has lost some ground as technology companies shift their focus to mobile devices.

Such a change would not come for a few years at Apple, said Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu in an analysts’ note Tuesday, but it would make good sense to have all of Apple’s devices on the same chip architecture.

Apple currently has two operating systems: OSX to power its Mac computers and iOS for its mobile devices. But the systems have been slowly moving together, particularly with the introduction of iCloud and the Mac App Store, which have made Macs look and act more like their small-screened siblings. Recent management shifts at Apple have made the divide even blurrier, with development of both systems now under a single executive.

The rumors could also be a signal to Intel that the company needs to lower the power consumption on its devices, Wu said.

“Today when using an 11-inch MacBook Air, the smallest form factor mobile Mac, we notice that it lasts about 4-5 hours under heavy use which is only half of 9-10 hours for an iPad,” he wrote.

Consumers are looking increasingly for devices that will keep them running on the go as opposed to powerful machines that help them while plugged into a wall. Battery life is a key factor in many tech purchasing decisions for just that reason.

Wu also weighed in on weekend iPad sales, saying that supply checks indicate that most of the 3 million iPad sales Apple announced Monday were for the iPad mini.

“We believe this should help alleviate concerns that its $329 price point is too high,” he said, reiterating his estimate that the company will ship 25 million iPad units in the final quarter of the year.

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