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April 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:06pm

MOTOROLA MAY PASS ON G4 POWERPC GENERATION

By CBR Staff Writer

Motorola Inc’s patience with IBM Corp and its partners in the PowerPC alliance has finally snapped, and the company is warning Apple Computer Inc that it is ready to abandon its investment in the G4 generation of PowerPC chips due late next year if the market for the PowerPC shrinks any further. The bone of contention with Apple, according to Computer Reseller News, is the new Mac OS licensing policy, which many fear will stunt the PowerPC market following IBM’s abject failure to put together a desktop machine that would be competitive with Pentium machines. According to the paper, Motorola has told Apple that a new fabrication plant would have to produce 5 million of the G4 microprocessors annually to justify the investment: fewer and Motorola would lose money, which it is not prepared to do. And the hurdle is a high one because Computer Intelligence InfoCorp reckons that last year Apple sold only 3.6 million machines from three different generations of PowerPC. Sales of PowerPC processors are down significantly in recent quarters, said Vadim Zlotnikov, technology analyst at Sanford C Bernstein & Co, New York. Given that IBM is still producing, there may not be enough for two vendors.

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