Intel’s former CEO, Paul Otellini, saw the magic of the iPhone unfold in its early days. He wanted Apple’s line-up of mobile devices to run on Intel chips, tried to convince Apple’s legendary co-founder and then-CEO, Steve Jobs and failed. According to Otellini’s own admission, this was his biggest regret. Now this is about to change.
According to WSJ, Apple intends to drop Qualcomm, its current chip supplier and a leading modem chip maker.
Apple is fighting Qualcomm in the courts. Now Tim Cook wants the last laugh. Rumors have it Apple is in talks with Intel (INTC, NASDAQ) to replace Qualcomm’s chipset with Intel’s in its mobile line-up, even though the former are faster. To Wall Street insiders, this sounds like #Intel gave #Apple a sweet deal.
Traders might want to quickly cut the coming losses by (possibly) exiting their Qualcomm positions and increasing their Intel shares. After all, Tim Cook (and his legal team) argued in an U.S. federal court that Qualcomm shouldn’t get a cut from every iPhone made.
Less certain but still possible, is another outcome: Apple might switch to MediaTek chips (either exclusively, or in addition to Intel’s). In this case, some buy options might serve you well.
What it means for you
As always, this is not meant as a trading advice. It’s just the latest Wall Street talk around the water coolers in Manhattan. Should you act on it, you are on your own. The risk, and of course the reward, is yours. (If you fear risks, then Wall Street isn’t the right place for you anyway, sorry!)
For users, nothing will change at first. Apple’s Xcode development environment can handle either one of these chip architectures. For app developers, the switch could spell an involuntary update. Developers who already have their hands full may quit updating their apps for the older iPhones and iPads altogether. Something has to give.
For some Apple nostalgia, see this post from the good ol’ days of Steve Jobs’ leadership: a thing of beauty.