Could Apple be merging iOS and OS X in 2012?

Analysts have suggested for some time that the future of Mac OS X could be merging with iOS. With Lion released in July and the new features added, such as Launchpad and Mission Control, comparisons have quickly been drawn between iPad features and newly-introduced desktop features. These comparisons were made even with developer builds of the operating system, before it became publicly available. According to Techradar, a note sent by Peter Misek to Apple investors suggests that the two operating systems could be merged together in the near future. Misek's note reads:   

"We believe Apple is ready to start sampling the A6 quad-core app processor and will be the first to such multi-device platform capable of PC-like strength."

The A6 is Apple's next-generation processor, boasting four cores. It is possible that this processor could eventually form the backbone of Apple computers; though it could also form the core of future devices running iOS or a unified operating system. According to Misek's note, the merging of the two operating systems may occur during 2012. Other significant quotes from the note are as follows:

"Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used. Apple can use a 32-bit ARM architecture to address the vast majority of the OS X ecosystem's needs in 2012-13 except for high-end professional devices. When 64-bit ARM is available in 2016, we believe Apple will have a single OS and hardware architecture."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Misek's claims have been refuted by other Mac experts and analysts. Other analysts have used statements and comments made by Steve Jobs himself during different Apple keynote presentations. With Apple's current CEO situation, the weight of Jobs' comments may no longer be what it once was. The 'iTV' is interesting to consider, for discussions of Apple moving into the television market have been rather common as well. The term 'iTV' likely refers to the Apple TV digital media receiver, though it may also mean a future television produced by Apple. The idea of an Apple-marketed TV has been shared before, but whether or not the concept will bear fruit or not is still to be confirmed.

Graham Barlow, the editor-in-chief of MacFormat magazine as well as Tap! The iPhone and iPad magazine has contested the view, with the following statement:

"After a lot of ergonomic testing Apple decide that a vertical touch screen was a bit of a disaster, which is why we haven't seen a touchscreen Mac. And all the new gestures in Lion are done on a trackpad. For this reason I can't ever see the same OS being run on a desktop computer with a vertical screen and a keyboard and on a tablet device like an iPad - you use the two devices in fundamentally different ways."

The first line, about a 'touchscreen Mac' references a comment made by Steve Jobs at the 'Back to the Mac' expo of October 2010. During the expo, Jobs was quoted as saying the following:

"Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical"

This could be taken as a dig at some Windows PCs that boasted touch-screen monitors in the past, though it could also be used as a counter to the idea of a touch-screen Macintosh machine. Of course, a touch-screen Macintosh could still be very much on the cards in the future, should its appeal be sufficiently high. Not only this, but if the claims of Apple's two operating systems merging are accurate, it could be the future.

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