Is OS X becoming ‘Legacy’?

You might have missed the fact that Apple’s iPad Pro is about 50% faster than the new Retina MacBook. That’s right, Apple’s ARM chip running iOS is faster–for the same price point–as an Intel chip running on OS X.

As Apple’s mobile devices–powered by their AX series of processors–become more powerful, the inevitable question comes up: Whither OS X and Intel?

I’ve long wondered whether OS X would be ported to the ARM architecture to work on a MacBook-like device that used an Apple A10 chip (or maybe a new B-series).

The other possibility, of course, is that the opposite happens: instead of OS X coming to ARM, iOS (already on ARM) would gain a mouse-and-keyboard interface. And, just as watchOS and tvOS were created to handle the Crown and Siri Remote, there would be a new AppleOS or mouseOS or macOS that would be based on iOS but have a different user interaction mechanism.

I used to be on the fence about which option Apple could take, and thought it was a 50:50 probability as to whether OS X would be ported to ARM or whether iOS would gain mouse-and-keyboard functionality.
But a while back, Benedict Evans, a VC analyst at Andreesen-Horowitz, tweeted this:

“Apple has replaced operating systems before. iOS will replace OS X in due course too. Modern versus legacy.”

https://twitter.com/benedictevans/status/649392166351953920 

And ever since then, I’ve come more and more into his camp, thinking he’s absolutely right. Let me explain why.

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