Today’s report that Apple could use ARM designed chips instead of Intel chips on laptops in a few years begs the question: are we going to get an iOS laptop?
iOS is the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. It’s based on the same core architecture as Mac OS X, which runs Mac computers, but optimised for mobile and for ARM chips like Apple’s own A4 and A5 chips.
Making Mac OS X run on ARM chips would be possible, but it would be a huge undertaking, because right now it’s designed to run on the x86 chips that run all of the world’s personal computers.
Apple clearly regards iOS, and mobile generally, as its future. It’s in the “post-PC era”, and Macs are personal computers.
The latest MacBook Air had a 11″ version which is highly portable and closer to a netbook than a full-fledged laptop.
All of this points to the possibility of one day having an iOS laptop.
It would make sense as a small, even more netbook-like laptop with a multi touch touchscreen. Perhaps it would be able to run some MacOS X applications as well or come with MacOS X as an option. Too bad the name “iMac” is already taken.
Of course this is all speculation at this point, but if ARM Macs are years away, that’s certainly enough time to make such a device possible for Apple.