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For Apple, ditching Intel chips in Macs would be a smart, but damaging, move

The idea of Cook & Co casting aside the chipmaker’s silicon shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone, but it could make things harder than ever for Intel.

The news: Bloomberg reports that Apple is planning to ditch Intel processors inside its Mac computers by 2020 and design its own instead. It’s apprently part of a move to better integrate software across Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Apple switched to using Intel chips in its Mac range in 2006.

Why it makes sense: Apple has been building an in-house chip team for years, and it has been designing its own chips for use in iPhones for some time. Meanwhile, Intel is flatlining: as Moore’s Law starts grinding to a halt, it has failed to effectively innovate and is struggling to improve efficiency despite stagnating speed—a feat that some of its competitors, such as Arm, have achieved.

Why it matters: For Apple, it would be a sensible move to gain more control over its ecosystem and avoid reliance on other companies. For Intel, it would be a chunk of revenue lost—about 5 percent, according to Bloomberg—and a severe dent to its reputation. Without a foothold in the mobile market, any further losses to its computer market share could be hugely problematic.

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