Intel and Apple, teaming up to make A-series chips for the iPhone and iPad? That’s what the rumors are saying, with a recent Reuters report going so far as to claim that executives from both companies have actually met to discuss the possibility of the x86 maker pumping out ARM chips custom designed by Apple!
“Intel Once Again Rumored To Be Working On iOS Device Chips With Apple,” read our headline this morning. But would Intel really cash in on its x86 heritage to make ARM chips? And if Apple did switch, would that really be a win for everyone?
The short answer? Yes, Intel would make ARM chips for Apple. But no, it probably wouldn’t be a win for either company. Here’s why.
Ever since Apple launched the new MacBook Air, analysts and Mac fans alike have gone wild speculating that Cupertino might dump Intel and use custom-made, ARM-based chips in their laptop line instead. Yesterday, more fuel was thrown on the fire when it was revealed that an Apple intern worked on porting OS X to ARM devices back in 2010. Even Intel has said it would be “remiss” of them to dismiss the possibility that ARM might steal their Apple business. On the surface of things, it looks like ARM might make its way to our MacBooks soon.
Is ARM really a threat to Intel? Yes, absolutely, and especially as we transition into Apple’s Post-PC world. But there is next to no chance Apple will replace Intel chips for ARM-based ones any time in the next five years. In fact, there’s a good chance the exact opposite could be true, and Intel chips will be powering our iPhones and iPads by then. Here’s why.
Will Apple, as rumored, shift the MacBook line over to an ARM processor this year, starting with the MacBook Air? If you answered yes to that question, one analyst has some compelling reasons why you might just be huffing fumes.