Where X86 offers no true advantages for running OS X, it is easy to see that it could offer DISADVANTAGES, simply because OS X, as a Unix variant, was never designed specifically for X86, making a lot of Intel hardware simply unnecessary. If there are instructions that will never be used, why spend the silicon real estate to hard code them? CPUs optimized for OS X would be smaller, cheaper, and use less power than any Intel or AMD alternative simply because they could be simpler overall.
Heck, by that time Windows will probably be virtualized anyway (what Microsoft should have spent five years and $5 billion on instead of Vista).
Apple is not tied to Intel or to X86. Jobs said they had OS X running on Intel for two years before announcing the shift, so it is logical to assume they have recompiled the OS to run on almost every competitive processor available today. OS X on the PS3? I'm sure it is running in an Apple lab.
Apple has changed processor families twice before in the Macintosh era so it is more likely, not less, that they will change again. It's even possible we'll see a jump to AMD for some machines before the final days of Apple/Intel. But just as the Intel changeover took a year and was predicted to take two, we're 3-4 years out on this transition. Your next Mac will probably have an Intel CPU, but the one after will be all Apple, through and through.
- Robert "X" Cringely
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