Apple’s CEO, in an interview with Peter Wells for The Sydney Morning Herald, when asked about the difference between the Mac and iOS:
We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.
So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that’s not what it’s about. You know it’s about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don’t think that’s what users want.
I’ll level with you; I often struggle with knowing how to read these sorts of Tim Cook quotes. Both the Mac and iPad have their own strengths and weaknesses, and merging them would create a different set of strengths and weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean the devices have to remain as separated as they are now.
I don’t think this takes things like Project Marizpan off the table, or even ARM Macs. Macs and iOS devices could run the same apps on the same processors, but retain their own form factors and operating systems.