If reports from anonymous sources are correct, Intel could soon be manufacturing Apple-designed chips at its factories. Currently, most Apple chips comes from Samsung, which is also a key Apple competitor.
Noel Randewich and Nadia Damouni with Reuters first ran the story, reporting, “Intel’s next CEO is likely to shepherd the top chipmaker into a growing contract-manufacturing business, a strategic shift that could lead to a deal with Apple Inc and give it a fighting chance to make inroads in the mobile arena.” They added, “A source close to one of the companies says Intel and Apple executives have discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached.”
CNET’s Don Reisinger noted, “Apple has relied on Samsung for years to build its mobile processors. However, as that company’s mobile efforts continue to pressure Apple’s, the iPhone maker is looking for alternatives. In addition to Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor, among other chip makers, have reportedly been considered by Apple.”
The Apple Insider observed, “This is not the first time rumors of an Apple-Intel partnership have cropped up. A report from May 2011 suggested that Intel showed interest in building Apple’s A4 and A5 SoCs, though no action was taken and the idea was apparently shelved as the so-called Ultrabook initiative gained momentum. Intel is supposedly looking to shift its strategy as PC sales continue to slump as mobile devices, led by tablets like Apple’s iPad, continue to gobble up marketshare. The firm has been looking to expand its foundry business, most recently agreeing to fabricate silicon based on technology from chip maker Altera.”
Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe commented, “How accurate the rumors of an Intel-Apple love-in are remain, of course, to be seen. But if it is set to happen, it’ll all be overseen by Intel’s next, unannounced CEO; current chief Paul Otellini jumps ship in May.”