Intel's CEO coy about hinting at Apple deal

Intel's CEO doesn't seem keen on the idea of enabling a chip competitor like Apple. But that could change after he leaves.

Would Intel form a 'strategic relationship' with Apple to make chips for an iPad? Intel's CEO didn't seem to exactly champion the idea.
Would Intel form a 'strategic relationship' with Apple to make chips for an iPad? Intel's CEO didn't seem to exactly champion the idea. Apple

Intel's CEO seemed to throw cold water on a chip deal with Apple in Tuesday's earnings conference call -- though it really depends on how you read his comments.

When asked about making processors based on the ARM design -- such as Apple's A series chips -- Paul Otellini was quick to dismiss the idea.

"No," was the short answer from Otellini. The longer answer stipulated "ground rules" where Intel "would not enable a chip competitor."

But Otellini did seem to leave an opening for his successor, depending how you choose interpret his comments about the foundry business.

"It would be great if we could form a strategic relationship with a customer so that it went beyond just a single foundry transaction," he said, meaning that Intel would like to be more than just a garden variety contract manufacturer.

Otellini also said in the call that Intel's foundry business has passed the first stage and hinted at announcements to come.

"I've described the strategy before as a crawl, walk, run strategy. We're past crawling. We're in the mode of collecting serious customers...as you'd expect in this business, and there are some other customers that we still have not yet publicly announced," he said.

Whatever the case, Otellini will be gone in about a month and his successor may have very different ideas.

[Earnings conference call comments via Seeking Alpha ]

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