If that doesn’t seem like a fusillade across x86’s metaphorical
bow, consider the issue from a different perspective: According to
Apple, the M1 is the right CPU for a $699 computer, and a $999
computer, and a $1,699 computer. It’s the right chip if you want
maximum battery life and the right CPU for optimal performance.
Want the amazing performance of an M1 iMac, but can’t afford (or
have no need) for the expensive display? Buy a $699 Mac mini, with
exactly the same CPU. Apple’s M1 positioning, evaluated in its
totality, claims the CPU is cheap and unremarkable enough to be
sold at $699, powerful and capable enough to sell at $1699, and
power-efficient enough to power both a tablet and a pair of
laptops priced in-between. […]
Apple’s willingness to position the M1 across so many markets
challenges the narrative that such a vast array of x86 products is
helpful or necessary. It puts Intel and AMD in the position of
justifying why, exactly, x86 customers are required to make so
many tradeoffs between high performance and low power consumption.
Selling the M1 in both $699 and $1,699 machines challenges the
idea that a computer’s price ought to principally reflect the CPU
inside of it.