While this was a big hit and ultimately ended the long-running partnership with Intel and Apple, it appears Intel isn’t counting itself out of the race forever. In an Axios interview with Ina Fried, Pat Gelsinger shared his take on the relationship with Apple and he sounded quite hopeful that the company will be back in business together.
When asked if he had given up on the idea of Apple products running on Intel hardware, he dismissed the notion outright. “I’d never give up on the idea of anything not running on Intel chips,” Gelsinger said. He also briefly mentioned Intel’s “stumbles” without going into detail, noting quite bluntly “Apple decided they could do a better chip themselves, than we could…so what I have to do is create a better chip than they can do themselves.”
In order to win Apple back, though, Intel has to outperform it in many areas by making its ecosystem “more open and vibrant” than what Apple offers. It’s clear from the language Gelsinger uses that a big part of Intel’s angle is through its relationship with developers and their familiarity with Intel products on the market.
No matter what the short term holds in regards to the relationship between the two companies, Gelsinger admits this is going to be a long process. Don’t expect to see an announcement from Apple anytime soon in regards to using Intel CPUs.
Undeterred, one that that was put on the table was the ability for Apple to make use of Intel’s CPU fabs as its provider for chips in the future. This isn’t an uncommon practice for Intel as it currently make chips for Qualcomm and Amazon. With the current state of global chip shortages having access to one of Intel’s upcoming US-based facilities being built could be a strategic win for both parties.