Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Apple Mac Chip Switch's Impact On Intel Overblown, Analysts Say

Apple Mac Chip Switch's Impact On Intel Overblown, Analysts Say

Intel stock wavered after the closing bell yesterday after a new report appeared claiming that Apple would use its own chips, rather than Intel's, in future Mac computers.

Apple plans to add that chip to a new version of its Mac Pro, to be released by next year, and new Mac laptops this year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Apple already designs its own ARM-based processors for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, so such a move could unify the various products on to the same platform. Intel said, "We don't comment on speculation about our customers".

Transitioning to proprietary chips would free Apple from the constraints of Intel's production roadmap and allow it to be more flexible with time frames. Well, it's not just Apple but other companies like Microsoft are also implementing something similar but they will most likely stick to just the software aspect. The report does caution that Apple could theoretically abandon or delay the shift from Intel. The beta testing period, however, began with little coverage from Apple itself or the press.

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It is clear that Apple has been getting very good at semiconductor electronics, especially if you look at the A11 Bionic chip that featured in the latest iPhone X as well as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The initiative, code-named Kalamata, is still in early developmental stages but is part of a bigger strategy to make Apple's family of devices work more similarly and seamlessly together, according to the report. Shares dropped as much as 9% intraday but were able to recoup some of the losses to finish the regular trading session 6% lower.

Making processors for Apple is responsible for a not insignificant 5% of Intel's annual revenue, so this would not be great news for the chip manufacturer - and the market knows it.

Nearly certainly the new processors would be based on the ARM architecture which is used as the template for virtually every mobile phone processor including those used in the iPhone and iPad.

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And it should be noted that Apple's development of its own chip is not a new phenomenon.

A 2016 Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop computer, taken on November 21, 2016. This inadvertently means that Apple will stop sourcing the chipsets from Intel. Apple-made chips are also present in iPhones, iPads and Apple watches.

Apple a year ago sold 19 million Mac computers, accounting for about 7% of the overall PC market, Pitzer said.

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