Report : Intel in Talks to Build Chips for Apple
Intel is reportedly in talks with Apple to take over Samsung’s role to manufacture iPad and iPhone processors. Even if Apple is not using Intel’s x86 CPU’s in its mobile products, it would be an attractive deal for Intel to fill the capacity in its own fabs and take away business from its most significant chip manufacturing rival in the market.
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.
According to Reuters, a source “close to one of the companies” claims that executives from both Apple and Intel have met over the past year to discuss the idea of Intel making chips on a contract manufacturing basis. That would mean that Intel used its foundries to create chips designed to Apple’s own specifications.
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.
As for Apple, a move to Intel is easier to imagine, as the Mac lineup already runs on x86 processors. It has also been rumored that the company wants to distance itself from current A-series SoC manufacturer Samsung, with which it is ensnarled in a worldwide patent struggle. The Korean electronics giant is also Apple’s biggest competition in the mobile marketplace, with a variety of Android-based devices going jockeying for position against iOS products like the iPhone and iPad.
[Apple Insider, Reuters]