Intel reports record quarter, other Apple suppliers see strong sales
This week, Intel posted its strongest quarterly results in the company's 42-year history, with revenue up 34 percent and profit of nearly $3 billion. The company's profit margins are also at an all-time high.
Intel exclusively provides the processors found in Apple's entire range of Macs, both desktops and laptops. And the high-end MacBook Pro line also includes Intel's integrated HD Graphics, which are automatically enabled through smart graphics processing switching technology in order to conserve battery life.
The NPD Group recently found that year-over-year Mac sales were up 35 percent in May in the U.S. Apple will report is June quarter results next Tuesday after the market closes, and Wall Street expects the company to report sales of about 3.1 million.
Intel's success even came with its low-end Atom chip, which at one point was rumored to power Apple's then-in-development iPad. Instead, Apple opted to create its own ARM-based processor to power its mobile devices, including the iPad and iPhone.
Atom revenue increased 16 percent for the quarter, despite the fact that Apple has found great success with its custom A4 processor in its own mobile devices. Atom chips are mostly found in low-end netbooks, which are viewed as a competitor to Apple's iPad.
In addition to Intel, numerous Asian component makers have seen strong sales due to strong consumer demand for the iPad and iPhone 4. According to The Wall Street Journal, those suppliers continue to struggle to meet orders.
NAND flash memory suppliers Samsung and Toshiba are now boosting production in order to meet demand. But analysts believe it could be some time before the companies can ramp up production, and NAND flash prices are expected to rise in the near future.
"For Apple and other smartphone and PC makers, rising chip prices means they will have to look at ways to cut other component costs," the Journal wrote. "But that wonât be easy because display prices are also rising due to strong demand. If the component shortages are prolonged into the crucial back-to-school and holiday shopping season, Apple and others could be forced to transfer the burden to consumers by raising prices of their smartphones and PCs."