Intel CEO Hopes to Win Back Apple by Making Better Chips Than Apple
In a new episode of Axios on HBO shared by MarketWatch, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger sat down with Axios' Chief Technology Correspondent Ina Fried to discuss various topics, including Apple's transition to its own custom-designed silicon chips across its Mac lineup.
When asked if Intel has given up on the idea of the Mac running on Intel processors in the future, Gelsinger said that he hopes to win back this segment of Apple's business over time by outcompeting the company in chipmaking.
In the interview, Gelsinger acknowledged Intel's "stumbles" and said the company will "fight hard" to win back Apple's business by making better chips than Apple:
Fried: Recently Apple said they're moving from Intel chips on the Mac to homegrown processors. Have you given up on the idea of the Mac running on Intel chips?
Gelsinger: I never give up on the idea of anything not running on Intel chips. And, you know, hey, you know, our stumbles, you know, Apple decided they could do a better chip themselves than we could. And, you know, they did a pretty good job. So what I have to do is create a better chip than they can do themselves. I would hope to win back this piece of their business, as well as many other pieces of business, over time. And in the meantime, I got to make sure that our products are better than theirs, that my ecosystem is more open and vibrant than theirs, and we create more compelling reason for developers and users to land on Intel-based products. So, I'm going to fight hard to win Tim's business in this area.
In June 2020, Apple announced that it would be transitioning the Mac from Intel processors to its own custom-designed silicon chips, promising industry-leading performance per watt and improved graphics. The transition to Apple silicon began with the M1 chip in the MacBook Air, lower-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and lower-end Mac mini in November 2020, and Apple said the transition would take around two years to be completed.
Intel has a lot of catching up to do if it aims to outclass Apple silicon, as benchmarks revealed that the MacBook Air with an M1 chip and a starting price of $999 outperforms a maxed-out Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro priced at $2,999.
The transition to Apple silicon is set to continue at Apple's virtual "Unleashed" event tomorrow, with the company widely expected to unveil redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a faster version of the M1 chip. The notebooks are also rumored to feature brighter mini-LED displays, an HDMI port and SD card slot, and a magnetic power cable, while the Touch Bar is expected to be removed in favor of physical Fn keys.
Intel still supplies processors for some other Macs, including the 27-inch iMac and the Mac Pro, but those models are expected to adopt Apple silicon by next year.