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Gelsinger: Intel Wants Apple Back

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, with Tim Cook in a crudely Photoshopped thought bubble
(Image credit: Apple/Intel)

You might think, as Apple prepares to announce its next series of machines powered by the latest M1 series chips, that its divorce from Intel was well and truly over. Intel thinks differently. In an interview with Axios' chief technology correspondent Ina Fried shared by Marketwatch, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said he wants Tim Cook back.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

“I never give up on the idea of anything not running on Intel chips,” Gelsinger said in response to a question about Macs and Apple Silicon. “Apple decided they could do a better chip themselves than we could. And, you know, they did a pretty good job. So what I have to do is create a better chip than they can.”

Apple’s transition to its own ARM-based chips was announced in June 2020, and so far seems to be a success, pumping out the power while keeping battery life high. Software, thanks to quick work by developers and Apple’s own Rosetta 2 translation layer, isn’t a problem. You can still buy an Intel Mac, for now, but as they’re out-performed by the M1-equipped models, there's little reason to.

Gelsinger still can’t give up hope, however. “I would hope to win back this piece of their business, as well as many other pieces of business, over time,” he told Fried. “And in the meantime, I got to make sure that our products are better than theirs, that my ecosystem is more open and vibrant than theirs, and we create more compelling reasons for developers and users to land on Intel-based products. So, I'm going to fight hard to win Tim's business in this area.”

Will Alder Lake’s performance be enough to win back Apple’s business for intel? We’ll have to wait and see.

  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    We know from the past that Intel is not below giving their chips away below cost or free, they did that for years to keep AMD out of the mobile market and is why they stopped reporting mobile as their own segment in their earnings. I can completely see Apple releasing a line of Intel based desktop machines with Intel processors if it means higher profit margins.
    Reply
  • MB007
    No offense, but for the same reason intel is trying to maintain its own production lines (cutting the middle man and thus increasing margins), apple has the same interest in cutting out middle men. Plus having a fully customizable eco system from a to z has its up-sides, especially if you have the money to set it up. Once you have established the structures to do so its easier to maintain it. Intels lagging behind openend practically a compelling door to apple. They have no real intention going back, they have now 100% sovereignty over its system.
    Couples that broke apart are usually done for good. Have fun indulging in the past Pat.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    "So what I have to do is create a better chip than they can"

    Lol ya that's all you have to do... good luck with that pipe dream. Intel and amd should be scared of what Apple managed to accomplish in such a short time, their only saving grace is that Apple hopefully won't sell their chips to others.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    MB007 said:
    No offense, but for the same reason intel is trying to maintain its own production lines (cutting the middle man and thus increasing margins), apple has the same interest in cutting out middle men.
    ...
    ...
    They have no real intention going back, they have now 100% sovereignty over its system.
    No offense but now apple has one more middle man, they still have to pay some FAB to make the CPUs AND they have to pay a fat royalty to ARM, with intel they only payed once. It might still be cheaper for them for now but as far as middlemen go they have one more now.
    If nvidia buys up ARM and all the bad things that people fear happen then apple is pretty much screwed.
    Apple has zero rights over ARM.
    Reply
  • King_V
    TerryLaze said:
    No offense but now apple has one more middle man, they still have to pay some FAB to make the CPUs AND they have to pay a fat royalty to ARM, with intel they only payed once. It might still be cheaper for them for now but as far as middlemen go they have one more now.
    If nvidia buys up ARM and all the bad things that people fear happen then apple is pretty much screwed.
    Apple has zero rights over ARM.

    Maybe that's accurate, and maybe it's not. But, clearly, Apple has done the analysis, and has figured that they can make better products and more money going the M1 route.

    I get that you're super-extra-gung-ho about being pro-Intel, but seriously? Are you really making the argument that Apple is taking a loss just for bragging rights on their own chip? That it's a bad idea to have a powerful, efficient chip for themselves?

    You sound like you're engaging in the kind of spin that the oil companies and big tobacco have done in the past when trying to claim their products weren't harmful.

    Hell, given its performance and efficiency, I'd like to see this chip (and the requisite motheboards) available the way Intel and AMD chips are available for DIY PC builders.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    King_V said:
    Are you really making the argument that Apple is taking a loss just for bragging rights on their own chip?
    No I'm not, where did you get that from? If anything I said that arm might be cheaper for apple.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Yeah, you said "might" with a heavy emphasis with the rest of your argument implying "but more likely not" or "only for the time being."

    And don't deny that the crux of your argument is that they'd be better off sticking with Intel. Because if that WASN'T what you're trying to say, then you need to do some serious editing work.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    peachpuff said:
    Intel and amd should be scared of what Apple managed to accomplish in such a short time....

    How...... short of a time do you think?

    The M1 is based on the A series isn't it?
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/16226/apple-silicon-m1-a14-deep-dive
    The first A processor was the A4, which was produced circa 2010. Apple has super deep pockets and can throw "billions" "at this problem", they even hired Jim Keller to work on their ARM processors - when I think of something that has happened in a short period of time, I think of the developers who reverse engineered the M1 enough to get Linux running on it. Without billions to "throw at the problem".

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/linux-finally-runs-on-apple-m1-mac-natively
    Apple's processors are fast to be sure. But it's basically a decade in the making.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    King_V said:
    Yeah, you said "might" with a heavy emphasis with the rest of your argument implying "but more likely not" or "only for the time being."

    And don't deny that the crux of your argument is that they'd be better off sticking with Intel. Because if that WASN'T what you're trying to say, then you need to do some serious editing work.
    Mb007 said " they have now 100% sovereignty over its system. " and my point was to point out that they do not, they rely on 3rd parties and they rely on them staying stable. If the FAB can't produce due to supply restrains or if ARM changes prices or if anything does anything there is nothing that apple can do.
    It's completely the same as with intel and with an additional middle man, except that apple can design the CPU anyway they like which is the only but also huge pro for apple.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    ezst036 said:
    How...... short of a time do you think?
    50 years for intel vs 10 years for Apple... yes that's short.
    Reply