Intel CEO confident chipmaker can keep powering Apple's Macs by innovating

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
Amid increasing chatter that Apple may consider migrating the Mac to its own in-house ARM processors, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Friday characterized the two firms' relationship as "strong" and reiterated Intel's strategy of competing for business based on performance, price, and reliability.




"Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability and innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate," Krzanich said during an interview with CNBC. "They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability, that are better than our competitors, and then they want to use our parts."

Intel has long leaned on much the same response when asked about the possibility of an ARM-powered Mac. "We hear the same rumors and it would be remiss of us to be dismissive. We endeavor to innovate so they'll continue to look to us as a supplier," Intel's Ultrabook chief Greg Welch said when asked about Apple's potential plans in 2011.



The long-running rumors returned to the foreground after twin reports from KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and JP Morgan's Rod Hall, released earlier this week, suggested that Apple may be able to increase the performance of its A-series chips to match that of Intel's lower-level desktop processors within the next two years. As AppleInsider has detailed, such a move could prove beneficial, though there are a number of hurdles to overcome.

Krzanich also took the opportunity on Friday to remind investors that Apple is only one of Intel's numerous large clients.

"I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers, we have to provide the most competitive part," he added.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 146member
    I can see it 5 years from now...Intel will only be in Pro level Macs. Mac Air and Mini may run on custom Apple chips.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Uh oh! Intel's CEO talking about how Apple would want them as a customer that would want their product makes me think my long-held, idle hypothesis about an ARM-based Mac might actually have some weight today.


    [QUOTE]"Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability and innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate," Krzanich said during an interview with CNBC. "They're a company based on innovation. [/QUOTE]

    Of course, but so far the most innovation and capability in processors over the last few years has come from Apple's own chip designs.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    If Intel has demonstrated something in its history is that it can innovate. Remember the Apple "PowerPC trounces Intel" FIASCO. Hopefully, Apple learned the lesson once and for all.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    appex wrote: »
    If Intel has demonstrated something in its history is that it can innovate. Remember the Apple "PowerPC trounces Intel" FIASCO. Hopefully, Apple learned the lesson once and for all.

    That was IBM that dropped the ball, and the larger issue of that "FIASCO" was that Apple relied on a single vendor for the advancement of the CPUs used in their Macs, which means that for Apple not to repeat that same mistake would mean Apple shouldn't blindly trust Intel to always have the best desktop and notebook-class CPUs. History even shows us that even AMD had a substantial lead over Intel at one point, and that Intel made some other very big mistakes in their roadmaps.

    TL;DR: Apple should definitely invest on ARM for Mac to 1) help motivate Intel to do focused innovation in the right direction, and 2) to create fan-less Mac-like "PCs" that have more performance per watt than what Intel can currently offer at that low end, as well as with savings of hundreds of dollars per machine.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    Uh oh! Intel's CEO talking about how Apple would want them as a customer that would want their product makes me think my long-held, idle hypothesis about an ARM-based Mac might actually have some weight today.

    Of course, but so far the most innovation and capability in processors over the last few years has come from Apple's own chip designs.

    Yep. The 2011 statement is most telling:

     

    Quote:

     "We hear the same rumors and it would be remiss of us to be dismissive. We endeavor to innovate so they'll continue to look to us as a supplier,"




    That means Apple's been considering this for some time.

     

    Personally, I'm all for having an ARM Mac. I really don't have issues with the concept behind Windows RT either though.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppeX View Post



    If Intel has demonstrated something in its history is that it can innovate. Remember the Apple "PowerPC trounces Intel" FIASCO. Hopefully, Apple learned the lesson once and for all.

     

    Yeah, cause Apple was the one making those PPC chips. :no:

     

    You forget that Intel was also dead in the water from 2000 to 2006, with a little company called AMD trouncing them at every point. It wasn't until Intel finally dumped Netburst and actually decided to compete that they became competitive. Remember, Apple switched based on what was in the pipeline, not by what was available at that moment. And now, Intel is in a spot where AMD is no longer a competitor. With Microsoft decreasing the hardware requirements for Windows, we're reaching a point where Intel really won't have much reason to continue pushing the envelope, as they run up against the laws of physics. Apple is a big customer, but if they're only 10% of their business, that's not enough to sway them.

     

    And Intel knows that:

    Quote:

     Krzanich also took the opportunity on Friday to remind investors that Apple is only one of Intel's numerous large clients.


    Apple doesn't like being treated like just another client.

  • Reply 7 of 54
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Uh oh! Intel's CEO talking about how Apple would want them as a customer that would want their product makes me think my long-held, idle hypothesis about an ARM-based Mac might actually have some weight today.

    "Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability and innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate," Krzanich said during an interview with CNBC. "They're a company based on innovation.

    Of course, but so far the most innovation and capability in processors over the last few years has come from Apple's own chip designs.

    Brian Krzanich of Intel didn't see the huge truck coming toward them marked "mobility" any more then Steve Balmer. That blindness of vision was so strong that Steve Jobs couldn't open Brian Krzanich's eyes. If a company want's to be successful and truly INNOVATIVE it needs to look ahead and then start laying in place the foundations for change well ahead of the crowd... especially well ahead of the financial pundits most of all.

    I expect Apple to surprise the market with a SoC of some kind that is more revolutionary then evolutionary... watch the towers shake and the pundits scream of doom... doom, I tell you!!!
  • Reply 8 of 54
    neilmneilm Posts: 597member

    "Intel's strategy of competing for business based on performance, price, and reliability."

     

    ?He left out another key factor: availability. Yes Broadwell, we're talking about you: almost a year late and counting.

     

    The other problem with Apple's reliance on Intel is competitive advantage, as in there isn't any. Everyone uses the same Intel processors (AMD isn't a factor). If Apple can do better themselves with ARM based chips, especially for the ultra-portable market, they surely will.

  • Reply 9 of 54
    Intel CEO Brian Krzanich

    <div align="center"><img src=http://photos.appleinsidercdn.com/gallery/11597-4651-Screenshot-2015-01-16-224704-l.jpg alt="" />
    <span class="minor2 small gray"></span></div>

    I really hate to say this but this guy's face does not say "innovation" to me... It says more like "Dead Man Walking."
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Apple is a big customer, but if they're only 10% of their business, that's not enough to sway them.

    Apple doesn't buy the most chips from Intel, but all the chips they buy are in the higher consumer end, scarcely dropping into the sub $300 range (on their public price sheet for lots of 1000) for any of their Macs. But I think that's only the minor issue for Intel.

    Intel (and everyone else) knows that Apple is the trend setter. If ARM has reached a point that the power per watt is more than sufficient for a standard user's traditional "PC" needs then Apple moving to ARM would be the start of a large of issue for Intel (and AMD). With smartphones and tablets being the go-to devices for most consumers these days, the traditional "PC" as a laptop or desktop has been reduced to doing the occasional, "heavy" workload for the majority of users.

    If Apple makes that move within a few years Windows desktop will be ARM — already is with Windows RT — which will regulate Intel to the higher-end of the market, which may put them in a niche position that doesn't allow them to balance development costs over many, many years on a a wide range of chips. I'd even say that MS would like this movie because it would reduce the cost of "PCs" thereby increasing unit sales without reducing the cost for Windows licenses to the OEMs.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    Innovation has nothing to do with it. Intel delayed their chips almost a year which cost Apple millions of dollars in lost sales.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,374member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Brian Krzanich of Intel didn't see the huge truck coming toward them marked "mobility" any more then Steve Balmer. That blindness of vision was so strong that Steve Jobs couldn't open Brian Krzanich's eyes. If a company want's to be successful and truly INNOVATIVE it needs to look ahead and then start laying in place the foundations for change well ahead of the crowd... especially well ahead of the financial pundits most of all.

     

    Krzanich hasn't been the CEO that long, less than two years.

     

    Intel's shortcomings in the mobile sector should be pinned on prior leadership: Craig Barrett (1998-2005) and Paul Otellini (2005-2013). Had Barrett properly anticipated the future, it's very possible than an iPhone today would be powered by an Intel chip, not ARM.

     

    Of course, Intel is the most powerful chip company in the world, if there's anyone who can paddle after the ship the sailed and catch up, it would be Intel. It would be foolish to dismiss Intel as has-beens.

  • Reply 13 of 54
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Uh oh! Intel's CEO talking about how Apple would want them as a customer that would want their product makes me think my long-held, idle hypothesis about an ARM-based Mac might actually have some weight today.
    Of course, but so far the most innovation and capability in processors over the last few years has come from Apple's own chip designs.

    I'm surprised how well Apple has done with its chip designs. Things are evolving very fast on the ARM side of the CPU market, especially with Apple taping out a new A-series processor every 12-months. Meanwhile, Intel is still following tick-tock with x86, and occasionally dragging their feet on delivering new processors.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    If Apple stops buying Intel's processors, then its popularity among other computer makers will take a hit, too. Intel knows that, because for the past couple of years it has prospered by helping Acer and other computer makers produce laptops mimicking the MacBook Air.

    Now that Intel is giving its first chips from the new generation to those other computer makers before Apple, one could take that as a sign that Intel no longer needs Apple's business. Alternatively, it may be a sign that Apple is already planning to drop Intel, and Intel no longer has an incentive to make an effort to retain Apple's business.

    In 2016, iPhones and iPads may carry 10 nm ARM processors. That rumor has been published several times. At that point, Intel may no longer be the world's top chipmaker. Despite its leading factories and design team, it can't continue innovating at the same pace if the demand for top-end processors is limited. With overhead costs running to several billion dollars to transition to a new generation of processors, large-scale demand is a prerequisite to make the move no matter what miracles engineers promise to deliver.

    For Apple to make the shift to ARM processors in Macs, it will rely heavily on emulation software and possibly parallel processing. It may offer an Intel processor as a $149 upgrade to those who need to run Windows. Only one thing is certain: Apple has been working toward a solution for years. One of these days it will surprise us.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    I really hate to say this but this guy's face does not say "innovation" to me... It says more like "Dead Man Walking."


    I'd bet that this face doesn’t say 'genius' to you either. :lol:
    400
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    Innovation has nothing to do with it. Intel delayed their chips almost a year which cost Apple millions of dollars in lost sales.



    Just like IBM did back in the day - next option: Apple itself.

  • Reply 17 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

     

     

    Of course, Intel is the most powerful chip company in the world, if there's anyone who can paddle after the ship the sailed and catch up, it would be Intel. It would be foolish to dismiss Intel as has-beens.


     

     

    Well, just remember a lot of people used to say the same about Nokia, RIM and so on... ;)

  • Reply 18 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    These rumors and responses to rumors are simply business power plays. It doesn't really affect the end users much, if at all. Assuming it starts with low end Macs, that doesn't benefit of detract from the user experience because Mac Air users have very modest computing needs anyway.

     

    For me, I will go wherever I can run high end publishing, design and video applications at lightning speed. That along with a powerful Linux server on a super fast network is all I need. Well, that and an iPhone. I don't even really need an iPad. As long as Apple keeps delivering the high end machines and they run Adobe CC, I'll be a happy customer.

  • Reply 19 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

    they run Adobe CC, I'll be a happy customer.

    Those two words don't go together.

  • Reply 20 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

    they run Adobe CC, I'll be a happy customer.

    Those two words don't go together.


    Adobe enables me to earn lots of money. Lots of money makes me happy. Besides, I actually enjoy my work which is about 90% Adobe CC related. 

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