Ever since Apple decided years ago to change its hardware architecture and switch to Intel, the chip giant has been Apple’s main supplier. In terms of x86, Intel’s been Apple’s only supplier much to the chagrin of rival AMD which, historically, has offered price and performance advantages in at least some of its lineup.
But as HardwareCentral reports, Apple may now be considering switching or at least expanding its CPU suppliers beyond Intel for a number of reasons. Such a change would be an interesting development for the future direction of Apple’s hardware.
Apple may be shopping around for a new CPU partner, with a popular Apple rumor blog reporting that the company is talking with executives from AMD in a series of high-level meetings at Apple headquarters.
The reasons that the two might be teaming up could stem from Apple’s dissatisfaction with current partner Intel over the chipmaker’s lack of support for certain technologies, or Intel’s ongoing legal rumble with Nvidia, Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) main GPU supplier.
Apple already uses AMD (NYSE: AMD) graphics cards in its desktop iMacs, but if the new rumors reported by AppleInsider are accurate, the talks appears to be related to a larger CPU deal.
According to the report, Apple may be feeling compelled to look for a new partner due to a limited supply of new Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) processors, shortcomings in Intel’s future roadmap and frustration over the bus licensing fight between Intel and Nvidia (NASDAQ: INTC) — which, according to the speculation, limits Apple’s options in choosing vendors.