A curved OLED display, no home button, and a switch to Intel chips could be among the changes Apple makes to future iPhones. According to Nikkei Asian Review, citing “industry experts,” Intel’s recent commitment to Acorn RISC Machine (ARM) could be the impetus behind a future change in Apple’s supply chain. ARM architecture is currently developed and licensed by British company ARM Holdings.
Right now, Apple relies on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung for its mobile chips, but that will supposedly change as early as 2018. Apparently, Apple and Intel are already engaged in discussions, although they’re supposedly in the very early stages. In addition to Apple, Intel is reportedly looking to snatch a few big customers away from TSMC with its new pledge to ARM.
Nikkei Asian Review says one aspect that’s sweetening the deal for Apple is the fact that Intel’s headquarters is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and not overseas. However, Apple typically relies on a diversified supply chain—TSMC and Samsung—so as to avoid low supply. Relying solely on Intel could potentially lead to supply issues.
LG will be the first manufacturer to adopt Intel chips following the ARM deal, according to Nikkei Asian Review, a first step for Intel as it looks to make further inroads into the mobile market. Snagging a huge contract with Apple could be Intel’s big break.