Chip giant Intel's chief financial officer Stacy Smith has hinted that the company could be open to fabricating chips designed by other companies.
Speaking to tech hacks after a financial event in London today, the exec said that any request to build third-party CPUs would trigger "in depth discussion" according to Reuters.
Effectively outing his wish-list of potential customers, Smith remarked, "If Apple or Sony came to us and said 'I want to do a product that involves your IA [Intel architecture] core and put some of my IP around it', I wouldn't blink. That would be fantastic business for us."
Intel, which has dominated the PC CPU market for decades, is currently struggling to find a foothold in the smartphone and tablet arenas currently dominated by British chip design masters ARM.
As unlikely as it may sound, a hook-up between Intel and Apple could lead to intel manufacturing ARM designed chip-sets, which sounds a bit like Pepsi agreeing to manufacture Coke to us, but stranger things have happened.
The bottom line is that Intel is no longer in a position where it can pick and choose its partners, and anyone who walks through the door with a big enough bag of cash will walk away with a big bag of chips.
The fact that Apple is involved in some patent-based handbaggery with its current chip fabricator Samsung, and would love to lay its hands on Intel's forthcoming 3D tri-gate transistor technology, could well convince the two companies to further cement their already fruitful relationship.