New Macs--Intel inside, but not outside

"Intel Inside" badge won't appear on new Intel-based Macs. "We chose not to take part" in program, Apple says.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
3 min read
SAN FRANCISCO--The new Macs may have Intel inside, but they don't show the chipmaker's presence on the outside.

Most brand-name PCs that use Intel processors take part in the "Intel Inside" program, which gives the computer makers marketing dollars for displaying the chipmaker's logo on their products and in their advertising.

But Apple decided not to sign on to the program with the lineup of Intel-based Macs that CEO Steve Jobs introduced Tuesday.

"We chose not to take part in the Intel Inside campaign," Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview at the Macworld Expo here.

The cardboard box for the new iMac will contain a logo for Intel's dual-core Duo processor, in part to distinguish it from the existing PowerPC-based iMac, which has very similar features and sells for the same price as its predecessor.

"What you'll see on the shipping box, we've added a feature...that explains 'hey this one has an Intel Core Duo chip' so customers know what they are buying," Schiller said. "It isn't any part of an Intel Inside program or anything like that. It is just part of the feature section on our box."

"The iMac is really from a feature and design standpoint the same as the iMac G5 it replaces," Schiller said. "What's really the main difference is the processor core logic and graphics chips are different. Everything else about it is the same."

For the most part, the new models also share the same input options, meaning that both the MacBook Pro and Intel-based iMac have FireWire support, though not the higher-end FireWire 800 option.

Apple plans to transition all its products to Intel-based chips by the end of this year. In the meantime, though, some products are living side-by-side. For example, Apple plans for the MacBook Pro to replace the 15-inch Powerbook, but the company intends to continue selling the 12-inch and 17-inch Powerbooks for some time. Apple did not cut the prices on those models.

Along with forgoing the Intel Inside program, Apple is also not a part of Intel's latest marketing push, Viiv, which is centered on entertainment-oriented PCs. For now, that program is limited to PCs with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition, though Intel Vice President Deborah Conrad said Apple had a chance to take part in Viiv.

"They looked at Viiv," Conrad said in an interview. "We were very up-front with them...It's not like they were surprised or that they couldn't have been part of it if they had wanted to."

Conrad said Apple and Intel are pursuing similar goals when it comes to the digital home.

"We all want the same thing. We might have different paths to get there, but ultimately it's about 'How do we deliver a better consumer experience, more entertainment, great digital content.'"

And, Conrad said, there is no rule that prevents there from being a Viiv Mac at some point down the road.

"We'd like Viiv to be as open of a platform as possible," Conrad said. "To the extent that you will see different operating environments over time, we are going to continue to explore that. Today it is definitely a Windows environment."

As for Apple choosing not to take part in "Intel Inside," Conrad noted that the program is not mandatory.

"They don't do co-branding," she said.