A rather sketchy rumor arrives today by way of Reuters, which cites Intel's inroads into the “foundry” business, which might just make it a great candidate for producing Apple’s A-series chips for iPhone and iPad.
Intel plans to expand its manufacturing technology to producing chips designed by Altera, “snagging its first sizeable customer in a contract manufacturing, or ‘foundry,’ business expected to grow,” Reuters
This tidbit of information has spawned speculation that Apple could be up next on the list of potential customers.
Apple’s rocky relationship with Samsung (which has produced most of its iDevice chips so far) has prompted the Cupertino giant to take steps in other directions.
TSMC was said to be one potential new partner for the job, but such plans have yet to materialize, analysts say.
Reuters adds fuel to the fire, stating that “A source close to one of the companies says Intel and Apple executives have discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached.”
The report also quotes Pat Becker Jr. on the subject. Becker works with Becker Capital Management, which has owned a lot of Intel shares in the past.
“If you can have a strategic relationship where you're making chips for one of the largest mobile players, you should definitely consider that. And for Apple, that gets them a big advantage,” said Becker Jr.
While Samsung is still producing a lot of the existing chips for Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices (the A5, A5X, A6, and A6X), there’s a big question mark hovering over the potential new A7 chip that Apple might use in a next-generation iPhone / iPad model.
And if Samsung gets dumped and TSMC is a no-show, who else but Intel sounds like a better candidate for the job?