Apple & Intel: Chip Buddies for Life?

By Steve Anderson March 07, 2013

One of the most impressive ongoing battles in the tech world was the brouhaha between Samsung and Apple. Each would accuse the other of horrible things, but neither could really quit the other due to their intertwined nature. Samsung was one of Apple's biggest suppliers, and Apple was one of Samsung's biggest customers. But now, that particular battle may be coming to an end as Apple may have found a new chipmaker in the form of Intel.

In what may well be one of the biggest head-slapping, why-didn't-I-think-of-that? moments ever, a report from Reuters indicates that Intel may be ready to receive orders from Apple for the production of Apple's A-series line of chips for iPhones and iPads. This doesn't necessarily mean that Apple's ready to completely throw Samsung out of the loop, of course, but rather that Apple will now have another party to turn to in order to augment the supplies of iOS hardware chips.

The current reports indicate that, while Apple and Intel have "discussed the issue in the past year," no specific agreement between the two firms has been, as yet, reached. But Intel has expressed interest in the past about becoming a kind of contract "foundry" of chip manufacture, so the possibility that iOS hardware may have Intel Inside is not out of line.

Of course, it's nothing official as of yet, but the idea is a sound one for several reasons. One, Apple has been in the hunt for chip makers to augment its production for some time now. Apple has been seen working with LG, Sharp, and several others in a bid to get the necessary chips for its iOS hardware, but few companies have been able to bring in the kind of numbers--and the kind of quality--that Samsung has been able to bring to the table for some time now.

Intel, meanwhile, would be likely able to do just that, especially now that PC shipments have been in decline for some time. While Intel is putting a lot of effort and resources into its ultrabook line, being able to have a foot in the door with a major producer of mobile hardware isn't exactly a line of business that any thinking business would want to easily pass up. Intel will likely have at least a little spare capacity, and putting that to work is just good business. It's not as though Apple and Intel haven't worked together in the past, either; Apple had been spotted using Intel chips in their Mac lines for some time--Steve Jobs was spotted talking to Intel back in 2005 at the Worldwide Developers Conference--before moving to its own line of chips.

Will Intel and Apple be working together in the near future? It's entirely possible, and reports suggest that the two firms may be working in that direction. Only time will tell if agreements get signed and chips start flying out the door, but it's certainly a reasonable idea on several fronts, and one that might be a win-win for both Apple and Intel.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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