Intel’s grip on chip market under threat as Apple lines up ARM technology

Apple is reportedly lining up its own line of ARM chips to be deployed in its MacBooks. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the US vendor is looking into developing ARM modem chips for all future versions of its MacBooks. What this tells us is twofold: firstly, it is another example of Apple developing its own technology in-house after it dumped Imagination Technologies and developed its own A11 chip for the iPhone X. Secondly, it suggests Apple is about to cut Intel and Qualcomm out of its MacBook development altogether.

ARM chips are currently used for around 95 per cent of the mobile market, with the company licensing its tech to other companies who then develop chips for use in their devices. However, in the desktop and notebook markets Qualcomm and Intel are widely used. However industry experts believe the tide is turning and believe that ARM chips could become more widely used in the market.

“Notebooks are becoming thinner, while consumers are demanding better mobility and longer battery life,” one expert said. “That gives ARM’s architecture, which is known for its power efficiency, a very good opportunity.”

In the short-term Apple will most likely continue to use Intel and Qualcomm technology, with experts predicting a two-year window for Apple to develop its own technology. “We believe that more system houses will design their own chips,” Samuel Wang of the Gartner research firm told Nikkei. “The purposes are to develop and protect their proprietary technology information, to make more efficient chips for their unique need, to lower [costs] and to do inventory control better and keep all logistic operation confidentially.”

Earlier this year, many industry analysts predicted that Samsung would dethrown Intel as the number one chip manufacturer in the world. The South Korean tech giant reported record quarterly profits of £9.3 billion, thanks largely to a boom in demand for its memory chips.

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