Intel Is Confident It Can Win Apple Back As A Customer After Being Exiled From Macs
Apple may be on the precipice of releasing its latest processors, the M1 Max and M1 Pro, but that doesn't stop Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger from counting Intel out. Apple is now moving to its second generation of M1 CPUs after transitioning away from Intel, following 15 years of partnership. In 2020 Apple announced its own silicon and marked the move away from Intel as its CPU of choice ushering in an entirely new operating system and way of thinking for developers. The Apple M1 is an 8-core ARM-based CPU built on the 5nm architecture and is an absolute unit when it comes to efficiency. This was a sizeable blow to Intel's business.
While this was a big hit and ultimately ended the long-running partnership with Intel and Apple, it appears Intel isn't counting itself out of the race forever. In an Axios interview with Ina Fried, Pat Gelsinger shared his take on the relationship with Apple and he sounded quite hopeful that the company will be back in business together.
When asked if he had given up on the idea of Apple products running on Intel hardware, he dismissed the notion outright. "I'd never give up on the idea of anything not running on Intel chips," Gelsinger said. He also briefly mentioned Intel's "stumbles" without going into detail, noting quite bluntly "Apple decided they could do a better chip themselves, than we could...so what I have to do is create a better chip than they can do themselves."
This is a bold statement by the ever-confident Gelsinger and in the interview it is clear that he is not shy about the topic. He goes on to lay out that Intel has a plan that could result in regaining that relationship. It isn't an easy one, as he acknowledges that Apple "did a pretty good job" when making its own chip.
In order to win Apple back, though, Intel has to outperform it in many areas by making its ecosystem "more open and vibrant" than what Apple offers. It's clear from the language Gelsinger uses that a big part of Intel's angle is through its relationship with developers and their familiarity with Intel products on the market.
No matter what the short term holds in regards to the relationship between the two companies, Gelsinger admits this is going to be a long process. Don't expect to see an announcement from Apple anytime soon in regards to using Intel CPUs.
Undeterred, one that that was put on the table was the ability for Apple to make use of Intel's CPU fabs as its provider for chips in the future. This isn't an uncommon practice for Intel as it currently make chips for Qualcomm and Amazon. With the current state of global chip shortages having access to one of Intel's upcoming US-based facilities being built could be a strategic win for both parties.