Rumour: Apple ousting Intel for ARM in laptops

Apple is planning to move its laptop architecture from Intel to ARM by mid-2013, according to a report.

Our old mucker Charlie Demerjian over at SemiAccurate reckons the Mac maker will be switching its allegiance from intel to Brit chip shop ARM, and will roll out a range of laptops sporting the company's frugal silicon once it has moved to 64-bit cores.

Apple has made no secret of its intention to converge its portable gadgets like the iPhone and iPad with its full-blown computer offerings, the forthcoming OSX Lion bringing its desktop and notebook MacOS operating system closer to its mobile iOS.

It's also worth pointing out that Apple is the only major computing company to have made a major architecture switch when it moved from IBM's PowerPC to Intel in 2006.

A switch to ARM would offer Apple the possibility of truly universal software packages: with ARM in the iPad, iPhone, and MacBooks, developers could have a single app that works across the board with no modification or recompilation. That might just be enough to have Apple considering the possibility - as a long-term goal, of course.

Two years is a very long time in tech, but Apple is well known for hedging its bets on components long before it needs the inventory - which, combined with its massive pots of cash, gives it unparralleled purchasing power.

And ARM will be keen to secure future business, especially in light of Intel's recent announcement of its forthcoming Ivy Bridge Architecture which is clearly gunning for ARM's current stranglehold in the low-power-draw arena.

SemiAccurate's far-reaching predictions have belied the name of the site before now, but we'll just have to wait and see how this one pans out.

We've contacted Apple, Intel and ARM asking for a response to the report but they all seem to be in Friday afternoon mode. If any of them do get back to us, you'll be the first to know.