The last few days have given us the opportunity to ponder about the future of Apple's relationship with Intel especially as the electronics giant has now almost confirm that it is an ARM licensee, something it had never publicly acknowledge before.
The possibility that Apple may drop Intel completely is real given that technology produced by the UK-based company is now used in three of the more successful products from Apple, the iPad 2, the iPhone 4 and the iPod. It is something that we suggested nearly two years ago.
Apple unexpectedly cancelled the Xserve server range last year, killing one Intel-based platform. It also quietly moved the Apple TV from Intel to ARM-based last year, zapping another one.
As it stands, only desktops and laptops prevent Apple from becoming an ARM-only company; but it is only a matter of time before this happens. We did write about Project Aquarius earlier this year and A4 (and now A5) maybe the beginning of it even if Apple doesn't confirm the move.
In addition, we cannot remember when was the last time Apple gave an update on the sales of the Apple Mac Pro range, one which is regularly lumped together with the more popular iMac and the Macbook family.
The net income from that product sub-range generated $6 billion in the last quarter, that's roughly $1500 per unit sold. In comparison, the iPhone and iPad pulled in more than $15 billion, excluding the App Store and the iPad is likely to surpass Mac as the second most important revenue generator for Apple in the next quarter.
The fact that Apple controls both the graphics and CPU part of its system-on-chip is a powerful enough incentive for the company to jump board, perhaps not within the next 24 months.
But with Nvidia aggressively pushing for an hypothetically-called Tegra 6 system on chip which will have a GPU core 75 times faster than a Tegra 2 by 2014, Apple will need to deliver something that can easily match Intel's mainstream models by then.