Intel CEO confident chipmaker can keep powering Apple's Macs by innovating

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Amid increasing chatter that Apple may consider migrating the Mac to its own in-house ARM processors, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Friday characterized the two firms' relationship as "strong" and reiterated Intel's strategy of competing for business based on performance, price, and reliability.

"Apple is always going to choose the supplier who can provide them the most amount of capability and innovation for them to build on, for them to innovate," Krzanich said during an interview with CNBC. "They're a company based on innovation. Our job is to continue to deliver parts that have that capability, that are better than our competitors, and then they want to use our parts."

Intel has long leaned on much the same response when asked about the possibility of an ARM-powered Mac. "We hear the same rumors and it would be remiss of us to be dismissive. We endeavor to innovate so they'll continue to look to us as a supplier," Intel's Ultrabook chief Greg Welch said when asked about Apple's potential plans in 2011.

The long-running rumors returned to the foreground after twin reports from KGI Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and JP Morgan's Rod Hall, released earlier this week, suggested that Apple may be able to increase the performance of its A-series chips to match that of Intel's lower-level desktop processors within the next two years. As AppleInsider has detailed, such a move could prove beneficial, though there are a number of hurdles to overcome.

Krzanich also took the opportunity on Friday to remind investors that Apple is only one of Intel's numerous large clients.

"I wake up every morning making sure that across the board, whether it's Apple or Lenovo or Dell or any of our customers, we have to provide the most competitive part," he added.