Intel Sold Designs for MacBook Processors to Apple’s Competitors: Ex-Employee

On a recent episode of Loup TV (via ped30), host Gene Munster was joined by ex-Intel engineer Zheng Li who pretty much dropped a pipe bomb during the show: 6-12 months after working closely with Apple to create a proprietary processor for its MacBooks, Intel would go and sell off the same designs to the highest bidder among Apple’s competition.

Jump to the 8-minute mark to hear the juicy bits:

YouTube video

Before Apple Silicon started stirring up a storm, MacBooks used to run on Intel CPUs. However, Apple looks to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible, so the Cupertino, California, based tech giant would work closely with Intel to create designs and form factors for new, proprietary processors for its MacBooks.

As it turns out, Intel would simply wait for 6-12 months after it created a new processor design with Apple (and even that was likely only because the CPU manufacturer was contractually obligated to do so), before selling the same designs to Dell, HP, and/or other Apple competitors.

While this head start gave Apple a lead in market share and ingenuity right out of the gate, it would still mean that its proprietary designs (and the benefits thereof) would end up in the hands of its competition in a year or less.

Apple mainly wanted Macs to be powered by its own processors like the Apple M1 so it could have even more control over the software and hardware on its computers, as well as the synergy between them.

However, given how Intel treated the Mac maker, one cannot help but think about how big a perk Apple sees no longer having to depend on Intel.

With even the processors for Macs now being designed in-house, Apple ensures that what its computers offer cannot be (easily) duplicated, giving the tech giant an even firmer grasp on the market.

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