No Intel inside Apple iPhone

“One of Intel’s top technologists revealed Monday that the chip giant will not win a spot on Apple’s iconic iPhone anytime soon, even as he outlined Intel’s plans to keep growing as it turns 40 on July 18,” Brian Caulfield reports for Forbes.

“‘Apple chose not to take that road map at their next generation of platform,’ said Patrick Gelsinger, general manager of Intel’s digital enterprise group, referring to Intel’s plans to churn out smaller versions of the so-called x86 processors that power most of the world’s PCs and servers. ‘That was disappointing,'” Caulfield reports. “Despite the setback, Intel has a plan to use its long history inside desktop computers to its advantage, even as the action shifts from the PC to wireless gizmos like Apple’s iPhone…”

Caulfield reports, “Apple appears to be going it alone for now, buying chip designer P.A. Semi for $278 million in cash earlier this year to help it design the processors that will power its next generation of phones and digital media devices.”

Caulfield reports, “Intel’s PC processors may own the desktop. But the semiconductor giant’s x86, or Intel Architecture design, is far from the most ubiquitous. Booming demand for mobile phones has made variations on U.K.-based ARM Holdings’ design far more ubiquitous.”

More in the full article here.

19 Comments

  1. @Famous Grouse:

    Apple didn’t take Atom because:

    a) They thought they could do better with PA Semi
    b) they didn’t want to be beholden to a 3rd party for the crown jewels. This way instead of buying chips, they make them themselves, control the process, can iterate faster, and likely increase their profit (in the long run).

  2. Brian Caulfield, lay off the ubiquitous use of the word ubiquitous and invest in a thesaurus.

    If Mr. Caufield was a Mac user, he would have a thesaurus in his computer. It’s part of Dictionary.app.

    It is very easy to use.

  3. Another thing for Arm and the PA Semi purchase, they can lock the OS to a custom designed chip, instead of leaving the possability open for someone to copy the iPhone hardware (at the chip/board level at least) and just grab the iPhone software as they will. And maybe Intel can still get in on it by being the manufacturer of the chips that Apple designs.

  4. I believe they sold all of their holding in ARM which raises a few questions that would be interesting to answer. Did Apple not see the scope of at least part owning a chip designer then, did they not visualise the scope of such chips in their plans at that time or did they simply not see it as the right investment for such chips for the plans they did had. Obviously they didn’t need the money.

  5. Power consumption is critical for mobile devices, so Apple has to choose a chip which can do the work but be skimpy on power use. Intel chips have never been low on power consumption, and while they’re improving, they’re obviously not ready for the iPhone yet.

    Apple must not believe that Intel will have a chip ready in the near future either, or it wouldn’t have purchased PA Semi. There may be other advantages for Apple to controlling the entire chip process, but Apple wouldn’t have bought the company if it felt Intel was close to something of its own.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.