A report from Reuters claims that Intel and Apple have been in talks regarding the chipmaker producing processors for the iPhone and iPad, although no agreement has yet been reached.
Quoting the usual anonymous source "close to one of the companies", the Reuters report claims Intel may be looking to fill spare capacity in its chip fabrication plants by offering its services as a contract manufacturer, with Apple a potential customer.
The source claimed Intel and Apple executives have discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached.
However, this has not prevented speculation that Intel may be set to build ARM chips to Apple's design and specifications, or even that Apple may be considering a switch to Intel processors for its iPhone and iPad devices.
Apple currently uses Samsung to manufacture many of the processors that are in its iOS devices, but it's looking at alternatives including TSMC, following the firm's very public falling out with Samsung in the mobile device market.
Either scenario seems somewhat unlikely, however.
Intel long ago ditched its own ARM-based chip concern, gained from the acquisition of intellectual property from Digital Equipment Corporation, in favour of promoting its own x86 architecture into the mobile space. Thus it would be very odd if it were now to agree to make ARM chips for anyone else, which would compete against its own Atom chips.
Meanwhile, Apple has been increasingly developing its own optimised processors for the iPhone and iPad, acquiring several chip firms over the past several years. If it were to switch from ARM to x86 at this stage, it would be throwing away all that investment and effort.
There is a precedent, however, as Apple previously switched its Mac desktop and laptop computers over to Intel's x86 processors, as the PowerPC chips it previously used were beginning to run out of steam.
But recent stories have suggested that Apple is now considering moving its Mac products over to ARM-based chips like those used in the iPhone and iPad, rather than vice versa.
As ever, Apple looks set to keep industry watchers guessing as to what it is really up to.
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