Intel’s next CEO may push the company into manufacturing chips for other brands such as Apple, marking yet another indication that the PC industry is shifting to fit today’s mobile climate. According to Reuters, the long-time CPU maker has taken its first steps toward contract manufacturing.
Last week Intel announced that chipmaker Altera would be its first customer in a contract manufacturing business model. If Intel continues to produce chips for other major companies, Apple may be able to reduce reliance on its biggest rival—Samsung—as a primary supplier for its A-S-series chips.
An inside source told Reuters that a partnership between Apple and Intel has been discussed in the past year, but no decisions have been made. The outlet did not specify whether this source is connected to Apple or Intel.
“If you can have a strategic relationship where you’re making chips for one of the largest mobile players, you should definitely consider that,” Pat Becker Jr. of Becker Capital Management said to Reuters. “And for Apple, that gets them a big advantage.”
Sunit Rikhi, vice president and general manager of Intel custom foundry, told Reuters that the company plans to take on a “potential large, unidentified mobile customer,” but did not mention Apple specifically. Additionally, Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy told Reuters that the company is in constant communications with Apple.
A partnership between Apple and Intel makes sense for both companies: It further reduces Apple’s reliance and gives Intel a chance to make immediate profit. However, the decision will be left to Intel’s new CEO, who will take Paul Otellini’s place come May.