Apple isn’t too happy with Samsung at the moment, as evidenced by the recent lawsuit it filed claiming that the South Korean manufacturer had copied the “look and feel” of the iPhone and iPad. However the Californians are still hugely reliant on Samsung to provide various components, including its A4 and A5 chips.
That might be set to change, though, as there are rumours suggesting that Intel – which current provides processors for Apple computers – is keen to push Samsung aside.
For once the speculation comes not via an “anonymous source who does not wish to be named”, but from Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard, who’s been speaking quite openly to EETimes.
''Based on a number of inputs, we believe Intel is also vying for Apple's foundry business,” says Gus. ''It makes strategic sense for both companies. The combination of Apple's growing demand and market share in smart phones and tablets gives Intel a position in these markets and drives the logic volume Intel needs to stay ahead in manufacturing.
''Intel's manufacturing lead gives Apple an additional competitive advantage in these markets and distances it from Asian competitors that are knocking off its products,'' adds Gus. ''Furthermore, it would also serve to weaken Samsung who is a significant competitive threat to both companies.''
The transition won’t be quick though. It’s expected to take years before Apple’s reliance upon one of its main competitors is lessened.