The Race To Replace Samsung At Apple

| About: Intel Corporation (INTC)

One of the ironies in the recent Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) vs. Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) case is that Samsung remains a major chip supplier to Apple. The Samsung chips in question, unlike the iStuff, are even made in Texas.

If Apple really wanted to hurt its Korean rival, it might consider switching chip suppliers.

Apparently Apple has already done this, but Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM) turned down an Apple effort to invest in it for top priority on its latest kit.

That still leaves Apple with some options:

Apple has a lot of experience changing chip suppliers. It spent most of the last decade transitioning to Intel chips for its main desktop line, running OSX.

Intel has immense motivation to go after Apple's business. It has been struggling in the mobile space for a decade, and an Apple win would give it instant credibility. The stock has gone almost nowhere for five years while TSM is up 43.5% and QCOM, which does not own its own fabrication plants, is up 62%.

Reportedly the late Steve Jobs initially planned to use Intel in the iPad and the company said as recently as last spring its aim was to produce mobile chips "Apple can't ignore."

How close does Intel have to get in its engineering of such a chip before it's worth speculating on?

Disclosure: I am long INTC, AAPL. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.