Manufacturing chips on behalf of other companies is a major departure for Intel, which for decades has based its business on using its manufacturing prowess to offer its own PC chips superior to rival products. As PC sales contract and Intel's fabrication plants operate at less than full capacity, the chipmaker sees an opportunity to fill idle production lines while earning new revenue.
A source tells the site that the two companies discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached.
"If you can have a strategic relationship where you're making chips for one of the largest mobile players, you should definitely consider that. And for Apple, that gets them a big advantage." remarked Pat Becker Jr, of Becker Capital Management.
Intel has yet to find enough demand to fill future fabrication plants so taking on contract manufacturing will help fill new production lines and help pay for them. For Apple, it would reduce their reliance on arch-rival Samsung.