Apple and Google's Latest Products Might Spell Trouble for Intel, Qualcomm and Other Chipmakers
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Apple could be launching new MacBook Pros that might come with the second-generation M1X chip and Google also hopped on the bandwagon of creating its own chip: the Google Tensor. These changes could spell trouble for chipmakers like Intel, Qualcomm and AMD.
Apple has been very successful with its new M1 chip, which can provide longer battery life and let the company more closely integrate its hardware and software. Apple's chips also allow for new features while still providing enough power to run demanding applications.
The company is also expecting to one-up itself with the upcoming M1X chip, which could outperform the M1 chip that debuted in 2020, considering that the former has 10 CPU cores while the latter has eight. Aside from that, the M1X has 16 or 32 graphics cores versus seven or eight in the M1. This shows the company's commitment to continue developing and improving its own chips.
Apple might one day have all its products go fully with its own chips. That might kill all business relationships with AMD and Intel.
Meanwhile, the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will come with the Tensor chip that was co-developed with Samsung. If successful with its new chip, Google might entice more Android phone makers to use its chip.
Since Google owns Android, it has an advantage since it could make some of its new services and technologies available to work only with the Tensor chip. The firm might also entice phone makers and consumers by making Android work better or have better functions on its own chip.
Intel vs. Apple
Intel could possibly be afraid of Apple because the former is lagging behind the latter in terms of delivering products. In 2020, Intel admitted that it had to delay the production of its 7nm chips, which was rebranded as Intel 4. This complication may have prompted Apple to speed up the development of its own processor.
Intel used to be the king of chipmakers but in terms of developing innovative technology, it has lost its edge over competitors like AMD.
Recently, Intel launched a new #GoPC commercial that promotes the PC and disses Apple products. The PC vs. Apple saga is not new but Intel being a vendor to Apple, has never gotten involved until now. This could be a sign that it's intimidated by Apple's new chip.
In the video, 12 Apple fans were seen in a focus group where the participants complained about Apple's lack of customisation, among other concerns. The advertisement emphasised features that PCs have that MacBooks don't.
As of writing, the video has more dislikes than likes and several users commented that the advertisement is cringey.
Intel's tweet thread that shared what made former Mac users ditch the MacBook for the PC was also not received well.
Since two years ago, Apple has been replacing Intel processors in favour of its own: the M1.
Qualcomm vs. Google
Qualcomm experienced something similar when it tweeted a meme that throws shade at Google. Tech reviewer Marques Brownlee replied to the tweet in disapproval of it.
Though it did not name Google specifically, the tweet talks about a company that decided to make its own smartphone SoC instead of using a Snapdragon. Since Apple has never put a Qualcomm SoC in its iPhones, it is very obvious that the tweet is not about Apple.
We could also rule out Samsung as it has been using its Exynos SoCs in a number of its Galaxy flagship devices for years. It's worth noting as well that Samsung is still a Snapdragon customer, notably with its new range of smartphones — the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3.
However, Google isn't the only technology firm to use its own chipset in flagship smartphones this year but it is the latest brand to do that. This company is also the only one to exclusively use a custom chipset in its flagship devices right now, considering that Huawei and Samsung use a mix of custom and Qualcomm SoCs in their flagship devices. That being said, it's pretty clear that Google is the target of the tweet.
Intel could lose a moderate 10% of its current 90% laptop market shares if Apple decides to go all in with its own in-house processing chip and Qualcomm could also lose a negligible 0.4% of an overall smartphone market share once the Tensor chip becomes a permanent fixture. These small changes are an inconvenience for some of these chipmakers but they could spark trouble if the trend persists.
Written by Sophia Lopez