Ten Years of the Mac With Intel Inside

It’s been ten years this month since the first Macs with Intel processors were announced, a pivotal change that had been announced at 2005’s WWDC Keynote.

This transition would start with the announcement of the iMac and MacBook Pro, the PowerBook’s replacement, in January 2006. These two models were, initially, the only machines available with the new silicon, which meant Apple continued to sell the PowerPC-equipped iBook G4, PowerMac G5 and even the 12-Inch PowerBook G4 alongside their Intel-powered next generation of personal computing.

Working in an Apple Store during this time was certainly interesting, as it was extremely difficult to recommend the PowerPC range to anyone, especially when stood next to the vast array of marketing material lauding the 3-4x speed increase that Intel processors offered. Most employees I worked with would simply advise customers to wait until their desired model was replaced, since the Mac they wanted was living on borrowed time.

In the following months, Apple would replace the iBook G4 and 12-Inch PowerBook G4 with the quiet introduction of the MacBook in May 20061, but it took until August for the PowerMac G5 to retire and be replaced by its x86 doppelgänger, the Mac Pro. At the end, it took just over eight months for Apple to have a 100% Intel lineup, with the iMac being the sole survivor of a product name change.

  1. This actually happened in the same week I was training to be a Mac Genius