Intel CEO: No Apple ARM Chip Deal

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Intel CEO Paul Otellini shot down rumors of a chip fabrication deal with Apple on Wednesday. When asked about whether or not the two companies were working on a deal for Intel to make Apple's custom ARM processors, he replied with a straight forward "no."

Intel says no Apple chip deal in the worksIntel says no Apple chip deal in the works

Apple's strained relationship with Samsung has helped fuel rumors that a deal with Intel was in the works, but now it seems that's not the case. Apple has been distancing itself from Samsung as a chip manufacturing partner and has been turning to other companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

The Apple-designed chips are used in the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and Samsung has historically been the go-to company for manufacturing the parts. With the ongoing world-wide patent infringement battle between the two companies, however, Apple has been working to distance itself from Samsung.

While Intel is a processor supplier to Apple, they are also -- to a degree -- competitors, and Mr. Otellini said his company "would not enable a chip competitor," according to CNET.

That said, he did leave some wiggle room, adding "t would be great if we could form a strategic relationship with a customer so that it went beyond just a single foundry transaction," referring to Intel's chip foundry business.

Assuming Intel backtracks and decides striking a chip manufacturing deal with Apple is a good move, that won't happen until Mr. Otellini is gone, and since he's stepping down as CEO in about a month, that could happen sooner instead of later.

For now, Apple's ARM chip fabrication is in the hands of other companies and rumors of an Intel deal are dead in the water. With a new CEO running Intel, however, that could change, assuming Apple is interested in striking a deal.

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3 Comments

KitsuneStudios

Intel’s betting on the Atom architecture as a viable competitor to ARM, at least in the tablet space. The x86 compatibility is a big selling point, and the current Clover Trail offerings are competitive with ARM in processing power, while having x86 Windows compatibility.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Child please. This is all about price. Intel would be more than happy to book that business for the right price. That right price will necessarily be higher than lesser known and likely less reliable forms like TSMC. And the cost to Apple of talking with Intel and balking on price will be significant. This is another example of Apple being unwilling to use its cash to solve its supply chain issue resulting from starting a war with Samsung. Wars are expensive. Start them if you must, but realize that they give other uninvolved parties like Intel a bit of future leverage.

AdamC

Looks like intel is leaving money on the table, is that a smart move I don’t think so.

The question is will Apple allow intel to take a peek at what they do to their chips, I don’t think so too.

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