Intel hasn't had an easy time since moving to its 14-nanometer process. It's gone from a tick-tock cycle to a tick-tock-optimize-optimize-optimize... cycle that's resulted in many people wondering if, not how, it will recover. Apple, on the other hand, is blazing ahead with its A-series system-on-a-chip (SoC) for iPhone and iPad.

Ashraf Eassa, writing for The Motley Fool

Ultimately, I think Apple is the most innovative chip designer in the world right now thanks to a combination of world-class engineering talent, exceptional management, and access to dependable manufacturing partners. Not only has Apple taken the lead over Intel, but I think that lead will continue to widen for years to come. In the short term, Apple's chip-development prowess relative to Intel may lead to perception problems for Intel, but over the long term, if Intel falls too far behind, it could permanently lose billions in annual revenue should Apple decide that it's had enough of Intel's poor execution.

Intel has a dizzying array of Coffe Lake, Ice Lake, Whiskey Lake, and maybe, one day, Cannon Lake chips in the works. Apple has the A12, A13, and A14, plus a wide range of letters left in the alphabet.

The next few years will prove very interesting.

VECTOR | Rene Ritchie