I think this is highly likely.Intel stock has been less than stellar lately for two reasons. One was their ill-advised overpriced purchase of McAfee. More importantly is their apparent failure to dominate the low power consumption mobile chip market the way they have PCs. Apple computer doesn't use Intel processors inside the Ipad or their phones and there are rumors that the next AirBook could even have an ARM processor. Microsoft also has been cited as having next generation designs for their tablet product to include ARM processor compatibility. Analysts are worried that Intel is too late to the party with low power consumption alternatives to this market. This is in spite of the fact that Intel has publicly acknowledged dozens of design wins and product rollouts in the second half of 2011 that will contain Intel low power consumption microprocessors in tables and phones.
What would it take Wall Street to believe this? This is a very simple question. It can only be one of three things right now. It has to be major design wins with either the Android camp or the Apple camp, or closer repeated wedding vows by Apple that it and Intel are two tight couples for life. Microsoft right now has lost credibility as a major competitor do their small mobile phone market share. I do believe that Windows tablets will give Apple a run for the money. More on that in another post, though. To understand this, though requires an understanding of Silicon Valley egos. I think I have a shot at this as the titan's spats are all so public.
Apple hates Google. There is no question about that. The New York Times did a great piece of reporting on that March 10, 2010. Click here for a link to that article. Apple is not terribly fond of Nvidia either although it doesn't seem personal like the Google spat. Nvidia is widely engaged in making Android compatible processors.
Apple hates Samsung now. Apple has been heavily dependent on Samsung for processors and other key parts of their products. With the release of the IPAD, Apple showed the results of its multi-year effort of building its own chips. The results were impressive. Samsung then promptly went about copying every product they made for Apple with their own versions or partnered with people who did. Apple's predictable response, they sued them. And most importantly Apple no longer trusts Samsung. And they shouldn't.
Apple doesn't hate Microsoft anymore. If anything it feels sorry for them. Well, that might be a stretch. A forgotten fact is that Bill Gates saved Apple from possible extinction when they invested $150 million and committed to Office for Mac for another five years. Good article on this at ZD Net. But really what does this have to do with anything? It's simple, Apple is not threatened by the Wintel holy alliance any longer.
Apple likes Intel. Apple must have a fond spot in its heart for Intel. After all Apple was resurrected by Job's fateful decision to abandon Motorola processors and go with Intel chips. But Intel's chips did not meet Apple's vision for the mobile Internet and they had to design their own. Now that Apple has found tremendous success with fabless design, they are not going to back away from it. But Intel has the best process control of any company manufacturing in the world. Intel is also investing in massive foundry capacity. Who's going to utilize this. Prepare yourself. Apple will make a major announcement that Intel will in the future build ALL the Apple designed chips. Who is left for Apple to trust? It has to be Intel.