by guestblogger “Beardy”
30 years ago, a small garage-based start-up created what would become the basis of an electronics empire and be recognised as a trend-setter so revered by some that it has created its own cult and tribe of “fanbois”… Apple Inc.
It made the two Steves rich beyond the dreams of avarice and has led to a vast history of headline-grabbing events. How many other consumer electronics companies can boast a trade show that draws almost as many opponents as supporters?
Along the way, Apple moved from MOSTEK (6502) to Texas Instruments (68000) to IBM (PowerPC) and now recently to Intel (Core/x86) for their CPUs underlying their range of computers. They have released genuine ground breakers (the original Apple ][ and the Mac), some that have been years ahead of themselves so that they were market disasters (the Lisa). They moved from a hideous DOS (AppleDOS) to beating Microsoft to deliver a GUI OS (Mac O/S) to recognising that they didn’t do OS kernels very well, but did a brilliant job with GUIs and moved again (Mac O/S X derived from BSD).
There have been brilliant apps (like QuickTime) and woeful ones (like Safari, but maybe it will work by version 10…). But whatever they have done, their brilliant showman, entrepreneur and visionary (just ask him) has lead them through two recessions and successfully elevated the brand recognition well into the consumer market.
Roll forward about a quarter century and Apple took a major diversion from being a computer company that generated as much hype as real breakthroughs. Computers became less of a focus as the company took to the limelight in the consumer electronics market…. enter the iPod…. Now a few years down the track, they have successfully (deservedly or not) brought about almost a paradigm shift in mobile telephony with the iPhone.
And so we come to the latest step. Apple have guarded their technical IP with a zeal that make even the RIAA and MPAA look like charities, so it probably should be no surprise that they want to ensure that the next generation consumer products they create are even more closely guarded, no leaks, no “knock-offs”, no “clones”, not even any of the “me too” competition.
Apple are recruiting engineers and designers in the silicon space to design their own chips. Will they build a fab? Unlikely. Will they shop out the silicon fab work to a secure fab? Who knows, but anyone who has been keeping an eye on the manoeuvrings of “Global Foundries” and IBM’s silicon fab over on the US east coast might have some ideas…
“Apple builds its own team to design chips” — The Australian