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Tuesday, November 22, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Intel forms internal \'Apple group\'

In the wake of Apple Computer's decision to base its next generation of Macintosh computers on Intel processors, Intel Corp. has created an internal 'Apple group' comprised of both engineers and sales staff, eWeek is reporting.

The report notes that Intel has similar groups for other large clients such as Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. However, specifics on the Apple group are sparse and an Intel representative quoted in the report said the inner workings of the group are considered "confidential internal information."

Gartner research analyst Mark Margevicius told eWeek that Intel sets up groups "to work with as many unique suppliers as possible." While the official Apple group is new, the analyst said Intel has had "skunkwork" operations over the years to demonstrate technologies to potential customer Apple.

Margevicius also noted that Intel makes not only processors, but entire motherboards, including modules for wireless networking. He said that if Apple decides to pass-off the design of its motherboards to Intel, it could lead to economies of scale, which could reduce Apple's costs to manufacturer Macs and result in lower prices for the consumer.

"If Apple is looking to grow the platform, they have to be cost-competitive," Margevicius said.

Additional analyst comments are available in the full eWeek report.