I’m willing to bet WSJ & CNet will have egg on their face tomorrow. Both are convinced that Apple will announce tomorrow that they’re switching to Intel.
Here’s why I think they’re wrong: It would be suicidal for Apple. Apple is on the upswing now, the PPC architecture is gaining support with Sony’s Cell processor and the XBOX 360’s CPU, which are based on modified PowerPC cores. Microsoft even uses G5s to develop software for the XBOX 360. A few years ago, this might have made sense, but now it doesn’t. If Apple announced a transition starting in 2006, everyone would immediately stop buying Macs. They’d have a hard time rebuilding their momentum.
Remember, x86 family CPUs aren’t Intel’s only product and the Mac isn’t Apple’s only product. Some possibilities might be a port of OS X to x86, which is possible since Darwin already works on x86, while still selling PowerPC based Macs. Maybe Intel will license the PPC architecture and produce PPC chips, which is very likely, or maybe Apple will announce another product (PDA? Media player?) based on some Intel chip, maybe StrongARM rather than x86.