Intel could begin fabricating iPhone and iPad chips as early as 2018

Intel recently made a licensing deal that could see it move into a challenging role for manufacturers like TSMC and Samsung, especially as it relates to Apple.

The recently signed licensing deal between Intel and UK-based ARM Holdings lets the former fabricate chips for smartphones based on the latter’s CPU technology.

LG will become the first handset vendor to adopt Intel-fabbed chips following the ARM deal. According to Gartner’s semiconductor analyst cited in the report, Samuel Wang, A12/A13 chips for 2018/2019 iPhones are expected to be manufactured by Intel:
TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then. Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC.
Apple moving to Intel as a major supplier for its processors wouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as articulated in the article. The analysts cited in the report suggest that since there is no competition between Apple and Intel, and that the two are already working together in other areas, means Apple could feel comfortable in the transition — as long as Intel can handle the manufacturing demands. Plus, Apple working with Intel would line up with the U.S. government’s desire to see more U.S.-based companies making products in the United States.
“Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC,” a senior Taiwanese chip industry executive said. “There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it’s really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington’s policy to encourage U.S. companies to make more products at home.” 
Anecdotal evidence: Apple itself approached Intel with the request to build chips for the original iPhone. It’s funny that—faced with the slowly dying desktop market—Intel is now looking to boost revenues by building the chips it didn’t even design, for a client it already turned down, to power the device it overlooked a decade ago.


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