Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for Mac
Comment of the Day

November 06 2012

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel Chips for Mac

This article by Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows and Ian King for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:
Intel helped allay some of Apple's most pressing concerns when it announced that it would develop chips that don't require as much power as existing chips, this person said. That pledge to prioritize power conservation led some within Apple to conclude the company has a few years before it would need to make any change, if it makes a switch at all, this person said. And if Apple can't design ARM-based chips that are far more powerful than current models, the company would probably need to stay with Intel to satisfy Mac power users, who need lots of computing performance for tasks such as developing software or doing high-end graphics.

“This is a geek technical issue, but the ultimate question is could Apple keep up with what Intel is doing in terms of speed and graphics?” said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative S trategies Inc. “At this moment, I'm not sure.” Even so, Apple continues to explore moving in a new direction. The iPhone, iPad and Mac operating systems are increasingly sharing features. Yet the different chip technology makes it difficult to build features that work together seamlessly. For example, the thousands of applications for the iPhone and iPad and some of Apple's newest features, such as the Siri voice-command tool, don't work on Intel-based Macs.

Eoin Treacy's view In the high stakes technology sector, the risk of obsolescence is never to be ignored. As mobile devices continue to evolve and become increasingly popular they will force decisions on chip and hardware manufacturers that will have far reaching consequences.

ARM Holdings' (0.59%) mobile device chip technology gives it a competitive advantage in this rapidly developing market. The share is becoming increasingly overbought following its breakout three weeks ago but a sustained move below 400p would be required to question medium-term scope for additional upside. (Also see Comment of the Day on October 25th).

Qualcomm (1.66%), through its dominance of the wireless communications technology sector, is also a potential beneficiary of the continued growth in mobile devices. The share broke out of a five-year range in 2011 and has held a progression of higher major reaction lows since. A sustained move below $57 would be required to question potential for some additional higher to lateral ranging.

Intel (4.12%) has a solid record of increasing dividends but the share pulled back sharply over the last month to test the three-year progression of higher major reaction lows. It will need to find support above, or in the region of, $20 and subsequently sustain a move above the 200-day to confirm a return to medium-term demand dominance.

Samsung Electronics had become overextended relative to the 200-day MA when it hit a medium-term peak in May. It found support in the region of the trend mean from July and has held a progression of higher reaction lows since. A sustained move below 1.2M KRW would be required to question medium-term uptrend consistency.

Apple continues to hold in the region of its MA following a more than $100 decline since late September. A sustained move above $625 will be required to confirm more than temporary support in this region.

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