Intel CEO Says Chipmaker Has ‘Very Close Relationship’ With Apple


Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich recently participated in an “ask me anything” discussion on Reddit, where he fielded various questions from the online crowd, including one about his company’s long-running relationship with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), reports Apple Insider. Intel supplies the central processors for Apple’s various Macs, as well as the majority of Windows-based PCs.

“How close is your relationship with [A]pple?” Krzanich was asked by one Reddit discussion participant. “Has it changed since they made to move to Intel processors in 2005?” Apple previously used PowerPC processors for its Mac lineup before switching to Intel processors nearly a decade ago.

“[W]e’ve always had a very close relationship with Apple and it continues to grow closer,” replied Krzanich. “[S]ure its grown close over the years especially since we they started to use our technology in their systems.”

“[W]e’re always trying to build the relationship with all of our customers to be closer,” he added. “[T]he former CEO Paul Otellini used to say.. we win when our customers win.. it’s always stuck with me.” Otellini concluded his eight-year tenure as CEO of Intel in 2013. Although Otellini oversaw a period of significant sales growth during his tenure, he also missed a lucrative opportunity to make chips for the iPhone when Intel was unable to reach an agreement on how much Apple should pay for the chips.

Apple now uses chips based on ARM’s (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture for its iPhones and iPads, rather than Intel chips. Apple’s mobile processors are currently made by Samsung (SSNLF.PK), one of the Cupertino, California-based company’s biggest rivals in the smartphone market.

Apple has long been rumored to be moving toward reducing its reliance on Samsung by shifting more of its chip production to other manufacturers. Earlier this year, the Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:TSM) has already secured foundry orders from Apple for the as-yet-unreleased A8 chip. However, it should be noted that DigiTimes has a mixed track record when it comes to rumors about Apple’s supply chain. According to data from market research firm Gartner, Samsung and Apple were the top semiconductor buyers in 2013 and accounted for 17 percent of the total semiconductor demand last year.

Apple Insider reports that there has also been speculation that Intel may soon start manufacturing custom ARM chips for Apple’s mobile devices. Krzanich is not the first Intel executive to express appreciation for the company’s close relationship with Apple. In November, an Intel executive noted that Apple’s desire to improve the battery life of its MacBook Air helped push the chipmaker to develop the next-generation Haswell processor that uses significantly less battery power.

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