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Apple, Intel rumours ‘hogwash’

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Apple Computer is reportedly in talks with Intel about using the semiconductor giant’s processor chips in its MacIntosh computers, but at least one analyst thinks the rumours are false.

The secret talks were reported in the US Wall Street Journal. The report was based on information from two unnamed executives from unidentified companies.

If true, the rumours about Apple using Intel processors in its MacIntosh computers would have the potential to shake up the industry. Apple has long created and used its own operating system and software and has an alliance with IBM for processors whereas Intel has forged a longstanding alliance with Apple rival Microsoft.

Intel refused to confirm the story. “That story is based on rumours and speculation and as a rule Intel does not comment on speculation,” an Intel spokesman says.

And not everyone believes the rumours have any merit at all.

“I think it’s hogwash,” says Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report and an analyst for InStat. “I frankly find it hard to believe that these talks are anything but a ploy by Apple to get IBM’s attention. Apple may have been feeling neglected because of all the IBM activity at E3 last week and wanted to send a message to IBM.”

Krewell pointed out that the software transition would be expensive and create additional configurations to support.

“There’s no inherent advantage in the Intel architecture over the PowerPC, so I don’t think there is a technical advantage to the Intel architecture that IBM cannot duplicate,” he says.

“Also, Apple would now have to launch its products in time with Intel and the rest of the PC business. Where is Apple’s advantage? Where is Apple’s unique timing?” Krewell asks. “With such a small percentage of the market, Apple will have to get in line behind Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc.”

Krewell also noted Apple’s penchant for secrecy.

“If this were really true, wouldn’t Apple be all over the Wall Street Journal for releasing trade secrets?” he asks. Apple filed suit against a handful of reporters at the beginning of this year alleging they revealed trade secrets and demanding to know their sources because they wrote articles about the company’s upcoming technology before Apple had a chance to announce the technology at its Macworld trade show.

“If the leak came from Intel, that would scuttle any talks immediately,” Krewell adds. “Apple’s renown for secrecy; if Intel leaks information now, Apple would never trust the company in the future.”

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