Apple and Intel once seemed like oil and water, at least up until 2005, that is, when Apple announced that it would be switching its Mac line over to Intel chips. More recently, we’ve heard rumors that Apple might similarly move to Intel for chips to power its mobile devices, and just a few months back we heard that the rumored Apple smartwatch might play host to such a chip. Now this idea is back at the forefront, as Intel starts to get into the role of a for-contract chip foundry.
Intel has inked a deal with Altera to produce chips for the company, helping to get some use out of Intel’s production lines which have been operating at less than full capacity. Supposedly, Apple had been in talks with Intel about a similar arrangement, though sources claim that no formal agreement has been met.
The idea’s intriguing, as Apple has been working to re-source a lot of iPhone components, apparently trying to move away from reliance on Samsung in particular. Intel’s fabrication capabilities are reportedly top-notch, and getting Intel to produce future AX SoCs could conceivably give Apple a real leg up on its mobile competition.
For now, the question seems to be whether or not a deal with Apple would be in Intel’s interest, balancing the potential income versus the attention that would draw away from Intel’s own mobile processors.