Will Intel help Apple finally dump Samsung?

“Chip giant Intel badly needs to find a new growth driver, as it attempts to diversify its business away from the struggling PC market,” Andrew Tonner writes for The Motley Fool.

“And in that vein, Intel recently announced a deal that could do just that,” Tonner writes. “However, if true, Intel’s deal could have far-ranging ripple effects through tech, specifically in the growing rivalry between Apple and Samsung.”

Tonner writes, “Apple is currently the single largest purchaser of electrical components from Samsung. Apple pays Samsung $5 billion alone to simply construct its A-series chips… Intel’s potential opening of its foundries to new business could help Apple ditch Samsung once and for all.”

Read more, and watch the video, in the full article here.

46 Comments

      1. …I’ve always liked intel, I just thought it would be cool if they teamed up more. I don’t really see the point of your comment? They’re both tech giants that are doing well.

    1. Even if Apple severs all business relations with Samsung it won’t impact Samsung that much. The rest of the world is more than willing to do business with Samsung.

  1. This could be very significant, particularly if Apple and Intel find a way to collaborate not just on CPU fabrication, but also chip design. Intel desperately wants a foothold in the mobile device market and Apple has proven to be the leader in developing high performance, low power ARM CPUs.

    Unlike in the desktop arena in which Apple was a niche player for Intel (relatively low volume, mostly important to Intel for its link to Apple’s reputation), Apple consumes a *lot* of CPUs for its iOS devices. Even to Intel, that market is large enough to be enticing even if it wasn’t Apple.

    Perhaps Apple could even license its A7 design to Intel. I am not saying that that would be the right thing to do, but it would be worth considering in terms of the royalties. Besides, no one could implement the A7 as well as Apple.

      1. We are in the 20 nm semiconductor trace range now with people getting ready for 18 nm to 14 nm. The cost to move to a new fab plant + equipment has been stated to be often in the 3-4 billion range (wikipedia.)

        Given the current move toward the limits of the state of the art in “fab” plant trace size, there is going to have to be a humongous investment in ‘new’ technology to keep the movement toward smaller circuits going forward.

        It would be extremely risky for Apple to set up and try to become an instant expert in such a plant and then actually rely on it. To my mind Apple has to work with established top line fabs or risk a crushing failure of core devices they can not afford to be without.

        Risk would be compounded when the next major shift in technology comes along and the ‘old’ fab lines become obsolete.

        Intel can generate the customers to support multiple fab lines and facilities and minimize the risk which Apple needs.

    1. I find that MDN posts a variety, from shameless hit whoring to top tech journalism. It’s up to us to decide what to click. Occasionally MDN throws in its opinion via warnings about certain clicks.

      Regarding Motley Fool: This isn’t the first time they would have foisted speculative crap as journalism. I personally don’t bother with the place any longer. Therefore, I didn’t click.

    2. That’s Motley Fool’s entire M.O., though. They give you a taste of their speculation, opinions, or sometimes (if you’re lucky) journalism, but every single thing they post is an advertisement for their paid service. Which is why I typically ignore anything that is written by those hacks.

  2. Tim Cook is no more of a fan of Samsung than any of us here, but he is a very pragmatic person. However much he would like to ditch Samsung, he would need to be absolutely certain that an alternative supplier can fully meet Apple’s requirements for quality, quantity and reliability. Intel is possibly the only company that could currently match those requirements ( although TSMC will soon be getting close to that position ).

    It would be a finely balanced judgement whether Apple would do best to go with Intel or to continue with the support for TSMC. Much would depend on the details of any agreement. My hunch is that TSMC would remain Apple’s preferred supplier in future, but Intel might want to get a share of those contracts.

    If Intel doesn’t win a contract for Apple’s fab requirements, then once TSMC gets fully on-stream, both Intel and Samsung will be looking for new customers once Apple switches away from Samsung. Therefore I would expect Intel to make the sort of offer that Apple would find hard to resist and I would expect Apple to play hard ball – just as they usually do.

    1. You make a great point. Apple does NOT want any supply fiascos. Not having enough stuck obviously get’s them plenty of heat. (Example, the ‘gold’ iPhone 5s versus yellow iPhone 5c histrionics). Apple also does not what a glut of unwanted stock. (Example, the 1996 $1 Billion of Performa Macs rotting in a warehouse that triggered three+ years of Apple hell and ‘bankruptcy’ histrionics).

      Apple will sort out what to do with dickhead Samsung, while maintaining stock, quality and direction.

      1. Establishing relationships with two quality semiconductor suppliers is a smart move. Apple does not want to put all of its eggs in the TSMC basket, even if they have a very good relationship. Two suppliers with foundries in different geographical locations makes business sense.

  3. Is this the same company that is begging Samsung for displays for iPad Mini? Apple will always need Samsung. Every Apple products you buy support Samsung. When you support Apple your support Samsung. BEST THING EVER! LOL

  4. Apple need to have multiple options for vendors of key components.
    TMSC is clearly in the front line for getting more chip business from Apple. They need more suppliers like them. Intel could be one.
    The key reason for Apple to get rid of Samsung is to avoid them learn about key advances that Apple include in their A-series that is not included in the ARM versions. Also Apple is underwriting Samsung’s equipment investment. Take Apple out of the equation and it will be a lot more expensive for Samsung to make comparable chips.

  5. Back when Apple first moved over to Intel, Apple helped Intel design their chips to be cooler so Apple could use them in their Macs. Intel then sold those same chips to Apple’s competitors.
    As far as mobile is concerned, Apple needs to keep designing their own chips and then have Intel (and others) stamp them out.

    1. If Apple can design their CPU chips they can fab them too. Long term they have to, imagine Apple has new cpu chip for a new device (iWatch?) you send it out to Intel or Samsung all your R&D goes right down the drain.

  6. That idiot Ive has totally spoiled my experience with IOS 7. It’s worse than shit. The experience is akin to using an Android. What a piece of shit that idiot has churned out. Fuck you Ive you fucking asshole.

  7. Yea right, As if INTEL would just supply APPLE . Intel would be fools to throw total support towards a company that has less than 13% of the worlds phone market and falling. Intel would rather supply Samsung who own most of the market. My god, is there a single person here that’s ever run a business?? if so, then I bet u did ya balls through being stupid. Even tablet sales are declining so fast for Apple because of Samsung, Lets get one thing straight, Apples rule is over, PERIOD!

    1. You’re an idiot and know nothing of what you speak about.

      #1. Samsung fabs their own CPUs… why in the hell would they go to Intel?

      #2. Apple sold some 250 million iOS devices in fiscal 2013, next year they will sell close to 300 million iOS devices – an amount equal to the ENTIRE PC market. That’s only 3 different SoC models: A5, A6, A7 (and A8 later in the year). Any and every fab will love to have some of that business.

  8. Apple will continue their manufacturing process with overseas partners as most of their cash are offshore. This could be an incentive or excuse for the government to consider tax holiday to boost domestic partnership and economy.

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