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Apple Going ARM Would Be a Nightmare for Intel

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Bloomberg reported that Apple is considering a move away from Intel.

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In the third quarter of this year, Apple had 5.6% of the global PC market. I calculated this number by dividing Apple's reported Mac sales into the worldwide number reported by Gartner.

So Apple ain't a big deal, right?

Wrong!

In mid-2009, NPD released one of the most staggering statistics regarding the PC market I've ever seen: the fact that Apple controlled over 90% of the US market for PCs over $1,000.

And keep in mind, Apple has gained significant market share since then with groundbreaking products like the Macbook Air. So its stranglehold on high-end PCs has gotten stronger, not weaker.

So what does this mean?

Well, it's simple. Apple moves a lot of expensive Intel PC processors, and thus it would be a terrible customer for Intel to lose.

Furthermore, think about Apple's influence within the gadget industry.

What Apple does, everyone else copies.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones and tablets have mostly imitated the iPhone and iPad.

Apple was also the first mainstream PC company to dump floppy drives, go all-LCD in displays, abandon legacy ports, and embrace built-in Wi-Fi. Everyone else followed along.

Heck, the supposed next big thing in Windows PCs -- the Ultrabook -- is simply a copy of Apple's revolutionary MacBook Air line, which debuted way back in 2008.

One other point: If Apple dumps Intel, expect competing PC makers to push Microsoft to get further into bed with ARM.

Twitter: @MichaelComeau

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