Apple silicon is so good Intel wants to help produce it, claims report

Apple M1 Pro M1 Max
Apple M1 Pro M1 Max (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced new M1 Max and M1 Pro chips this week.
  • A new report says that despite public appearances, Intel is trying to get in on manufacturing Apple silicon for Apple.
  • It appears TSMC will remain the sole supplier of Apple silicon.

Despite a public campaign berating Mac users, a new report claims that behind closed doors Intel is vying with Samsung for a slice of business in manufacturing Apple silicon chips for Apple, a move the report says is unlikely.

Digitimes today states::

Samsung Electronics and Intel are both striving to win orders for Apple's in-house developed Mac processors, but industry sources believe TSMC will remain the sole supplier for the next-generation Mac series.

According to Digitimes, Apple is looking to diversify assemblers of its Macs, away from Quanta Computer and Foxconn in Taiwan to a few China-based suppliers as well. Digitimes also reports that Taiwan substrate suppliers like Unimicron Technology "have reportedly cut into the supply chain for Apple's custom-built silicon powering the next generation Macs, and will have a chance to benefit the most from the new offerings among its component suppliers." However, as per its initial report the business of supplying the actual chips Apple uses like the M1 Pro and M1 Max that feature in Apple's new best MacBook, the MacBook Pro (2021), will likely remain with TSMC.

With its new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, Apple has hailed its new MacBooks as the most powerful MacBooks ever, eclipsing not only the Intel Macs of old and devices like the MacBook Air with M1 and 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1, but also heavy-hitting Windows PC offerings.

During its keynote event, Apple showed off graphs stating that the M1 Max, the beefier of the two new chips, can deliver similar relative graphics performance to a high-end laptop using 100W less power. Pitting it against the MSI GE76 Raider (11UH-053), boasting an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU with 16GB of video RAM, an Intel Core i9 processor, and 32GB of RAM. Other comparisons offered during the keynote show that Apple believes its own chips eclipse anything offered by similar Windows devices.

Intel has been quite outspoken publicly about Apple since the announcement Apple would be ditching Intel for its own chips. It recently ran a PR thread on Twitter asking people why former Mac users had given up their devices in favor of PCs, a move which backfired spectacularly. It also created a spoof advert of the 'I'm a Mac' adverts of old. Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger recently said that Apple had done a "pretty good job" of making its own chip, but that he hoped that Intel could win back the business of supplying its own chips for Macs from Apple over time.

Today's Digitimes report also reflects Gelsingers comments that aside from getting Intel back into the Mac, it could look to help produce Apple's chips like is does for Amazon and Qualcomm.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9