Rumors has Apple launching the iWatch and a cheaper iPhone later this year. Also, with new iterations of the iPhone, Apple TV, and iPads, is there any reason to believe TSMC has the capacity to handle all these products? Doubtful.
Rumors already strongly point to Intel manufacturing the chips for the iWatch. If this is the case, it's not difficult to believe, Intel will have a presence in the other products as well - either manufacturing the chips or Apple decide to use Intel's superior Bay Trail and Merrifield. semi_equip_junkie mentioned several times that Apple and other companies would implement similar strategy as Altera, who also signed deal with TSMC's 20nm *and* Intel's 14nm, to more quickly move to FinFet and have edge over competitor.
B.K also dropping hints recently with his comments:
"If there was a great customer that we had a great relationship with laptops and other mobile devices, and they said look, we'd really love you to build our ARM-based product, we'd consider it. It depends on how strategic they are," Krzanich said.
"I think you'll start to see stuff with our silicon toward the end of the year and the beginning of next year," Krzanich said. "We're trying to get our silicon into some of them, create some ourselves, understand the usage and create an ecosystem."
He disclosed that Intel has been working to offer customers blocks of specialized circuitry, along with its processors, so they can mix and match different combinations to create customizeable chips for their products.
I have heard that rumor but I think it is pretty unfounded. More likely AAPL is buying factories for TSMC to guarantee a supply of high end chips from them and move away from Samsung as a supplier.
"yes but the real rumor is apple is going in the semiconductor business .they might even buy or invest big time on GF."
[This is what is called in classic business management as "deworsification". It's when a firm diversifies into a related field thinking that because it's related that they understand how to manage it successfully, when really it takes an whole new set of skills and abilities. They then get beyond their core expertise and disaster results. For Apple to get into the foundry business is quite a bit of hubris. Especially given that all they have access to its third or fourth-rate technology.
Of course, you might say that Intel is doing the same thing with its web TV venture. But the difference is that a misstep in the web TV business doesn't jeopardized the core business. With Apple, a misstep with foundry does. And that, very simply, is why it's insane. Totally insane.
Now maybe Apple thinks that they can afford a misstep that will cost 5 or 10 billion and a couple of years of time to play out. And maybe they can play other angles at the same time. But the risk to their reputation at a time when the perception is that the post-Jobs era is not going well at all, is immense. What the Sam Hill are they thinking? ]
Apple has no choice. If they don't use Intel's chips, then other devices with Bay Trail will outperform and is cheaper and runs full Windows 8 OS and dual boot with Android. Why would anyone buy the iPad?
In terms of "It depends on how strategic they are"...I think if Apple is willing to strategically position Intel's SoC for their premium products and arm for their low-end, then I think Intel would be willing to fab Apple's arm design.