Apple ensures G4 supply won't dry up

Apple Computer, which is in the process of switching its Mac line to Intel-based chips, has struck a deal to ensure that it gets what it needs of its existing chips to make it through the transition.

In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said that it has entered into a purchase agreement Freescale Semiconductor, the Motorola spinoff that makes the G4 chip used in the Mac Mini as well as Apple's laptop lines. (IBM supplies Apple with the G5 chip.)

Under the terms of the deal, inked on Monday, Freescale is required to supply chips to Apple for all orders placed through Dec. 31, 2008. However, Apple notes that it "is under no obligation to purchase Freescale microprocessors other than work in progress that was in place at the time the agreement was executed."

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