Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is hoping to win back Apple’s business.
In an interview with Ina Fried, Axios’ chief technology correspondent, on Axios on HBO, Gelsinger discussed his ‘plan’ for getting Apple back. You can basically sum up the plan as ‘make better chips than Apple.’
Watch the clip in the video embedded below, or check out the transcription for Gelsinger’s full answer:
“Fried: Recently Apple said they’re moving from Intel chips on the Mac to homegrown processors. Have you given up on the idea of the Mac running on Intel chips?
Gelsinger: I never give up on the idea of anything not running on Intel chips. And, you know, hey, you know, our stumbles, you know, Apple decided they could do a better chip themselves than we could. And, you know, they did a pretty good job. So what I have to do is create a better chip than they can do themselves. I would hope to win back this piece of their business, as well as many other pieces of business, over time. And in the meantime, I got to make sure that our products are better than theirs, that my ecosystem is more open and vibrant than theirs, and we create more compelling reason for developers and users to land on Intel-based products. So, I’m going to fight hard to win Tim’s business in this area.”
For some added context, Apple began to transition its computers away from Intel’s chips in June 2020. In place of Intel chips, Apple started developing and using its own processors based on ARM designs, similar to what’s used in smartphones and tablets (including Apple’s iPhone and iPad). The first such chip, dubbed the ‘M1,’ has appeared in MacBooks, iMacs, Mac minis and the iPad Pro line. Further, the company is expected to unveil new computers at an event on October 18th featuring a new version of the chip, possibly called ‘M1X’ or ‘M2.’
The thing is, making a better chip is easier said than done — and even if Intel manages to do it, I’m not sure that’ll be enough to win back Apple. Aside from the performance and battery life benefits of the switch to its own ARM-based silicon, Apple is also able to more tightly control its hardware and software stack by using its own chips. I don’t see Apple giving that up just because Intel’s chips manage to pull ahead in performance.
Plus, Intel has been pumping out some pretty terrible, desperate-feeling ads that try to dunk on Apple by touting the “benefits” of Intel chips — benefits that often have little to do with Intel’s chips.
The one upside to Gelsinger’s comment is that hopefully in Intel’s effort to win Apple back, it creates some truly excellent products for Windows users. Intel’s started to lag behind the competition and with AMD’s CPU division firing on all cylinders, Intel’s going to have to step up its game to keep its CPU crown.
Image credit: Intel