'Apple, Samsung, and Intel'

Matt Richman makes a case that Intel, not Samsung, should fab Apple's ARM chips:

This arrangement would benefit both companies in a number of ways. Apple would no longer depend upon Samsung, its biggest competitor, to produce the chips at the heart of its most successful products. (This is analogous to America asking China to build its most advanced missiles and hoping the country won’t use any of the top-secret technology it learns about for its own benefit when it’s clearly in China’s best interest to do so.) And because Intel has manufacturing capabilities that other companies don’t, Apple might well be able to create better chips than it would be able to if it were to continue using Samsung as its chip manufacturer. Finally, the company would have peace of mind knowing that its chip producer doesn’t stand to gain anything from a processor shortfall, as Samsung does. Even if the factory were to cost $5 billion — and it wouldn’t — it’d be worth it. Steve Jobs said Apple’s cash hoard is for “big, bold” “strategic opportunities”. This move exemplifies that thinking. Sounds good to me. It's long amused me that Apple relies on Samsung --- Samsung --- to manufacturer the brains that go into the company's most important and successful products. Apple's A-series chips are custom-built by an in-house team, and, as Richman rightly points out, Apple's taking a big risk in allowing its adversary access to top secret, critical information. Whether or not Apple moves away from Samsung for chip production is unknown, but the idea of Intel as a replacement is a plausible one. (via John Gruber)