According to Forbes, Apple has acquired the boutique microprocessor design company PA Semi for $287 million. Known for their energy-efficient yet powerful chips, initial reaction points to Apple using the PA Semi-designed microprocessors in the iPhone.
As innovative as Apple is in software, relying on other companies to provide the hardware is allowing the cellphone stragglers ample time to catch up. Currently, the iPhone is using an ARM processor built by Samsung and with so many 'iPhone Killers' being brought to the market, it's safe to say that Apple is trying to stay ahead of the pack by remaining unique in their hardware architecture.
If anybody remembers PA Semi, it's because Apple initially contacted them about using their chips in Macs after leaving PowerPC and before settling on Intel. Though Forbes reports that it would be at least a year before PA Semi chips start to show up in Apple products, it does set up an interesting dilemma for Apple. Intel has been pushing their 'Atom' chip toward Apple, but with this PA Semi deal, it would seem as if Apple is going to pass. Which means the iPhone and Mac line are going to diverge even further. Not even to mention the software nightmare it might create for iPhone developers.
But I think this is a good thing for Apple. They are beginning to round into the Apple, inc. that they had promised and it should mean more products for us. And though Old Faithful Mac Addicts might disagree and think Apple is overextending themselves, I believe this deal allows Apple to continue their uniqueness as a company who provides both the hardware and software in their products.