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Analyst: Apple Could Be Weighing AMD Acquisition

Analyst: Apple Could Be Weighing AMD Acquisition

Rumors and leaks are a regular feature of Apple-watching, and there's usually some substance behind a fair number of them. One currently making the rounds is that Apple could be ditching Intel in favor of AMD processors. Analyst Rob Enderle took the supposing one step further, suggesting that Apple might even be considering acquisition of AMD in order bolster its ability to make its own processors in-house.

By Brian R. Hook MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Apr 20, 2010 11:01 AM PT

Rumors are flying once again that Apple may drop Intel for AMD to supply the maker of personal computers with microprocessors, but hardly anyone is talking.

The latest round of speculation follows a report by AppleInsider that AMD representatives have been spotted several times exiting meetings with Apple's top brass.

The meetings reportedly included AMD briefings that spurred work in Apple labs that may lead to placement of the chips inside some upcoming Apple products, AppleInsider reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Better Fit?

If the rumor is true, it is probably a negotiating tactic on the part of Apple, Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group, told MacNewsWorld.

"Apple knows how to manipulate Intel pretty well," he said, noting that a team within Intel is dedicated solely to Apple.

This is a special relationship that even the giant computer maker HP does not have with Intel, said Enderle.

If Apple did decide to switch, however, the AMD microprocessors might be more suitable for Apple since the chips favor graphics over central processing units, he pointed out.

"It's hard for me to imagine, but threatening to switch would not be unsual," Enderle said.

Bigger Deal?

If Apple were to dump Intel, it might actually be in the market to buy AMD, Enderle suggested.

Apple is already making its own processor for the iPad, he pointed out, and it might be looking for more vertical integration.

"AMD is relatively cheap," he said, "and Apple could afford to buy it."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment, while AMD and Intel declined to speak on the issue.

"As a matter of policy, we don't comment on rumor or speculation," said Drew Prairie, a spokesperson for AMD.

"Those reports fall into the category of speculative reports, and we don't comment on speculation," said Chuck Mulloy, PR for Intel.

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