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Intel wants to produce Apple chips after targeting M1 Macs with an attack ad campaign

It was only recently that Intel wooed “I’m a Mac” star Justin Long to appear in ads that target M1 Macs, yet the embattled chipmaker is now looking to make future Apple silicon.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • $20 billion for two Arizona plants.
  • Outsourcing more chip production.
  • Looking to build chips for partners.
  • Courting Apple for future chip orders.

A still from Intel's anti-Apple ad campaign featuring Mac vs. PC star Justin Long

Courting Apple for future chip orders

First, the new CEO Pat Gelsinger said in an announcement on the Intel website that his company will invest $20 billion into two new factories in Arizona. Intel will also produce chips for other companies via a new Intel Foundry Services branch. The new Intel CEO specifically mentioned Apple as one of the companies it could build chips for in the future.

Lastly, Intel will outsource more of its own chip production to foundries like TSMC, Samsung and GlobalFoundries for the production of both consumer and enterprise chips, starting in 2023.

→ How to determine if your Mac runs Intel or Apple chips

TSMC is the same foundry that churns out in-house designed Apple chips. In that regard, Intel could theoretically work in tandem with TSMC to manufacture Apple chips, but Apple is highly unlikely to agree to such an arrangement.

Apple introduces “The Intel Chip”

In our view, Intel’s new anti-Apple ad campaign is one of the worst ideas in advertising ever.

Hiring Justing Long to appear in those commercials struck us as a move out of desperation. More importantly, it’s not exactly clear who these ads are supposed to target. They aren’t really selling anything—in fact, they seem to promote various PC computers from different vendors.

The viral ad campaign gets weirder considering Apple is still a client of Intel. The transition to Apple silicon across the entire Mac lineup is a two-year process and we’re not even halfway through it. So basically, Intel running ads to attack its own client may not be the smartest idea.

None of that could be said for Apple’s 2005 transition from PowerPC chips to Intel processors. Quite the contrary, after launching its first Intel-based Mac in January 2016 the company played an ad at the Macworld Expo in January 2006, embedded above. Titled “The Intel Chip,” it sings praise to Intel’s chip-making prowess.

“This ad makes Intel processors look better than any ad Intel has ever produced itself,” Apple watcher John Gruber wrote on his Daring Fireball blog. “The feeling this ad conveys is that Intel’s chips are going to be kicking some goddamn major ass inside Macs.”

That’s quite true.

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