iPhone's CPU: Still Irrelevant

Gruber links to an Italian newspaper article which reveals that the iPhone is using the Marvell CPU (and not Intel, etc.).

What Gruber says in his Linked List about the article is actually more interesting to me than the article itself, and not just because I don’t speak Italian. He writes:

Now the question is: Why is Apple being so secretive about this?

I don’t think Apple is being secretive about the CPU that the iPhone is using, per se … I think there’s just no story there. The CPU the iPhone uses doesn’t (or, at least from Apple’s standpoint) shouldn’t matter.

Of course, maybe I’m just being naive. Maybe Intel feels silly for selling its ARM division to Marvell and asked Apple not to make a big thing out of the iPhone’s CPU (as Gruber seems to be suggesting). But I think Apple is actually making a statement here.

The way I see it, Apple’s new motto might as well be “Thanks to OS X, the CPU is irrelevant.” So Apple makes the switch from PowerPC to Intel, and the resulting Macs are faster, cooler, and quieter, but from the user-interface standpoint, OS X works, looks, and feels just the same as it used to on the previous processors.

And now the iPhone uses yet another CPU, and we should still expect OS X to feel like OS X. Apple seems to be pushing the idea that the CPU shouldn’t matter to the user of an Apple product. And I think that’s why Apple isn’t talking about the iPhone’s CPU.

It’s almost as if Steve Jobs is saying (about all Apple products, not just the iPhone), “Trust me, it will be fast, it will work the way you expect. Don’t worry about it.”

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but it’s obvious that this is the direction they’re headed. Apple has been both lauded and criticized because of their CPU choices in the past, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they want to put it all behind them.

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