Apple becomes a chipmaker to wildly outperform smartphone rivals

“In a video introducing the iPhone X, Apple design chief Jony Ive speaks in his usual sonorous tones about features like polished stainless steel and new formulations of glass,” Tom Simonite reports for Wired. “Twice, he also calls out a feature of the $999 device that its owners will never see: the A11 ‘bionic’ processor powering the phone.”

“The new chip’s prominence reflects Apple’s deepening investment in chip design. Last week the company also revealed it had built new custom chips or chip components for artificial intelligence, graphics, and video,” Simonite reports. “Computer and gadget makers have traditionally outsourced the work of designing and making the processors at the heart of their products. In the PC era, Apple followed this path as well: The processors in its Macintosh computers were initially built by Motorola, and later by Intel. In smartphones, however, industry watchers say Apple’s strategy of designing chips itself has given it a big advantage—and arguably made its mobile chips the best on the planet.”

“Apple’s rivals love to take inspiration from the iPhone, but they can’t easily copy its chip strategy,” Simonite reports. “Samsung’s Exynos processors must be designed to serve other customers, too. In addition, the company doesn’t control Google’s Android operating system that powers its phones, so it can’t tightly integrate chip designs and software. Similar limitations apply to Qualcomm.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As usual, nobody can compete with Apple.

Apple’s A11 Bionic chip is by far the highest-performing system on the market; totally destroys Android phones – September 19, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X leaves Android phones choking in the dust – September 18, 2017
The inside story of Apple’s amazing A11 Bionic chip – September 18, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
Apple accelerates mobile processor dominance with A11 Bionic; benchmarks faster than 13-inch MacBook Pro – September 15, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus on par with 2017 MacBook Pro – September 14, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. And as of today, Apple is also in the memory chip business, as Toshiba has decided to go with the bid from Bain Capital that includes Apple, Dell, and Hynix. With Apple’s scale, I wonder if there is the possibility of custom memory chips optimized for Apple and iOS/A Series processors.

  2. This is great news. Once the current excellent Chip on the Iphone 8 & X makes its way to the ipads, they will complete directly with the mac book air in terms of portability and processing power. In near future i pads will cannibalize sales from the Mac book air and their lousy MS copies,and as Steve Jobs said, its better to cannibalize your self because otherwise you will get cannibalized by someone else. The days of the mac book air is coming to an end by the new iPads thanks to these excellent Apple chips

    1. And while Apple is making leaps and bounds on their chip design with TSMC Intel has slipped AGAIN. For another year, if Apple sticks to mobile Intel processors, they will be limited to 16GB of RAM. No new MBP’s until 2019, folks.

  3. Apple’s lead in chip design and performance is growing, putting them a few years ahead of the competition right now. Apple laid the groundwork for this current lead about a decade ago, it’s going to be tough for anyone to catch them. It took Apple ten years to assemble and nurture the current team, and they keep getting better.

    1. And Apple doesn’t have the issue where they have to maintain backwards compatibility with a WIDE variety of coding standards. They can dump 32 bit altogether. Intel still has to be bit compatible with some really old code just because they don’t want to lose any market share to any upstart. That makes their chips a lot more complex than they really NEED to be for performance.

  4. I thought it was this chip deal that caused Apple’s share price to dip today. No? Investors never seem to like when Apple spends money on acquisitions and this would be $3B which the Beats acquisition also cost. I didn’t see any other negative news which would have caused the dip. I thought this deal would be a good partnership for Apple to have but maybe everyone doesn’t agree with this view.

  5. It’s laughable now to think back and remember the endless derision of Apple’s vertical integration policies. How they lectured us that it could never succeed, compete, or be flexible enough to be successful, or even truly innovate. That it was headed down a blind alley that would see the company as was plainly obvious apparently decline, become irrelevant and eventually go extinct accompanied by the smug laughter of its competitors as they out performed Aple in sales and profits. Now those rivals are desperately falling over themselves trying to copy the model and the analysts are significant only if they are heard at all, by their ever more deluded straw clutching, hoping beyond hope their fallacious arguments might yet be revived by finding a crack in the much rideculed ‘walled garden’ and flogging that new dead horse for all its worth till the circling flies force them to go off to search out another one.

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