That Intel inside thing

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

Over the past few days, the Mac world has been abuzz with one fundamental question: will Apple stick “Intel Inside” logos on its next generation PowerBooks? That point, obviously essential to the future of the company, has highly respected journalists weighting the pros and cons of the matter, subsidies versus chemical goo on aluminum surfaces.

My take on the matter is of little interest. If hard pressed to answer, I would imagine that no, we will not see an Intel logo on the hand rest of PowerBooks, if only because the usually polished and shiny surfaces used by Apple aren’t exactly glue-friendly and, well, I believe Intel has gotten so much publicity out of the switch already (although, admittedly, not in the grassroots consumer market), on top of having its name engraved in Apple’s very own operating system files that the question of little stickers is somehow moot.

Surprisingly however, I haven’t read anyone suggesting the logo may be engraved on the headrest, like the FCC certification is on the bottom of the casing or on the back of an iPod. Heck, if Apple can engrave “Assembled in China” in 4 points font on the back of an iPod, why couldn’t they, if they wanted to, engrave “Intel Inside” on the tough casing of a PowerBook? It would be the ultimate weapon, the one logo you cannot remove, peel away, scratch and yet, it would get plenty of press coverage for once again showing how Apple can solve everyday problems through uncompromising aesthetics.

Yes, I find myself wishing Apple did that and, while they are at it, replace the Mac OS X boot chime with the Intel jingle. That way, the Mac and Mac OS X may finally get the attention they deserve — although indeed maybe not for the right reasons.

Update: In reaction to some of your comments (thanks for taking the time to write!), I have posted some additional musings on the topic on this page — outside of the O'Reilly Network, as they are of a more general nature.


13 Comments

nickpicker
2005-12-20 10:35:26
Huh?
"the Mac and Mac OS X may finally get the attention they deserve" - yeah, because hardly anyone ever talked about "the Mac" and "Mac OS X".


Duh.

F.J.
2005-12-20 10:42:03
Huh?
Hi there!


Hmm, I don't know whether this is a "Duh." situation but I do feel Mac OS X and the Mac have been somewhat eclipsed this Holiday season in the press by the success of iTunes and the iPod. Both groups aren't, of course, mutually exclusive and can coexist in the media peacefully but it seemed the equilibrium was somehow disrupted over the past weeks.


FJ

charlesa1
2005-12-20 15:42:17
I'm suddenly reminded
With the curious resurgence of this topic, I'm continually reminded again and again the comic that ran on Joy of Tech last Summer, shortly after the announcement. (http://www.joyoftech.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/696.html)


Personally, I find the build-to-order option tantalizingly amusing.

erichudon
2005-12-20 18:47:03
Intel Logo
I don't care as long as they put the logo on the botton of the powerbook. I don't want logos like "designed for OS X" or "Intel Inside" on top of my next Apple laptop like my dell d810 I actually use for job.


I might be afraid that Apple will be forced to but those stickers whatsoever.


F.J.
2005-12-21 01:23:31
Intel Logo
Hi!


Putting everything on the bottom of the case is, indeed, a possibility, and has good chances to be Apple's effective answer to the problem.


FJ

F.J.
2005-12-21 01:24:26
I'm suddenly reminded
Hi!


LOL! Indeed, "tantalizingly amusing" sums it up perfectly! ;^)


FJ

jdodds
2005-12-21 06:25:31
no stickers
In an interview with Jonathan Ive (Sorry, I don't have the link.) one item that was discussed is that Ive doesn't like stickers aesthetically. So Apple engraves or embosses instead of slapping on a sticker.


So I think itís fairly certain there will be no 'Intel Inside' stickers on Intel based Macs.


For aesthetic reasons I think it's unlikely that Apple would add any logo or any other design to the hand rests on the notebooks. And I would guess that, from Intel's view, putting the 'Intel Inside' logo on the bottom of the machine probably doesn't count.


But none of that precludes Apple from participating in the 'Intel Inside' program.


iBooks have the name 'iBook' printed on the bezel below the screen. Certainly the 'Intel Inside' logo could also be printed on the screen's bezel.


I hope that Apple doesn't put the 'Intel Inside' logo on the actual machines. I think it would be fine to use the logo in advertising but Apple's machines are themselves iconic representations of the Apple brand and adding someone else's logo dilutes the message.


jochenWolters
2005-12-21 08:35:15
Logo-maybe, boot chime-no way!
Given Apple's marketing prowess, I don't think that using Intel's signature graphics and ad theme would really be required to make people aware of the processor switch.


Still, I think I could live with a little Intel Inside logo next to the FCC badge on the bottom of the case, but, please, spare us from having to listen to that brain-twistingly obnoxious Intel "theme" every single time we boot our Macs.


Come on, FJ, tell us that you weren't serious about that bit, OK?! ;)

F.J.
2005-12-21 08:40:38
Logo-maybe, boot chime-no way!
Hi there!


No, I indeed wasn't serious about the Intel jingle -- or the laser engraved logo, for that matter... ;^)


FJ

sjk
2005-12-21 17:50:07
Intel logomania
Is it mandatory that Intel-based PC products be branded and sold with the logo? If not, I don't see Apple doing it; they don't brand "PPC Inside" on current PPC-based systems they sell.


Love that JoT comic, btw.

jdodds
2005-12-22 05:35:05
Intel logomania
No, it's apparently not mandatory but Intel pays handsomely. One report I read said Intel pays 20% of the costs of a hardware vendor's ad campaign if the Intel Inside co-branding elements are used. It's a massive industry-wide subsidy.


I don't know the terms that Apple and Intel have agreed to. It could be a non-issue. Or Apple may need to choose between the value of the 'aesthetics' and the value of Intel's co-branding program.

Surfingmarmot
2005-12-22 11:09:09
Intel and Apple are pros...
They know what they are doing and what counts and what doesn't when pursuing their strategies. Intel has no rival at Apple for processors, so they won't push their PC branding on Macs--no point in diluting the brand for a battle and territory already won. What Intel will pursue at Apple is a battle not yet won against fireware with their key asset USB. Intel pushes USB over Firewire because it requires processor cycles for transfers unlike Firewire. While that is inefficient and not good for users, it is great business for Intel to sell more and more powerful CPUs and 'glue' chips. So don't be distracted by the meaningless trifles--watch teh real strategic battles as they unfold. there will be many and the battle over Fireware is justthe beginning.
sjk
2005-12-22 14:28:01
Intel logomania
Ahh, thanks for enlightening my blind spot about Intel paying for co-branding the products and your logical speculation about what Apple may or may not do.