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Even though Apple commands a tiny percentage of the worldwide PC market, it looks like it has enough power to influence roadmap decisions of Intel Corp., the world's No. 1 maker of chips. As the semiconductor company admitted, it does take Apple in mind when setting its future plans.

"We work very closely with [Apple] and we are constantly looking down the road at what we can be doing relative to future products. I'd go as far as to say Apple helps shape our roadmap," said Thomas Kilroy, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's sales and marketing group, during his keynote at Reuters Global Technology Summit.

Last year Apple commanded around 5% of PC market share worldwide with its Macintosh personal computers, which is significantly below companies like HP, Dell, Acer or Lenovo. Intel commands over 80% of the x86 microprocessors market for desktops, laptops and servers. It has to offer high-volume, high-quality standard products that can address different needs.

Given the fact that Apple uses proprietary operating system and, from time-to-time, non-standard technical solutions, crafting the roadmap in accordance with Apple's requirements is a controversial decision. Still, Intel did not elaborate how exactly Apple influences its roadmap.

It is interesting to note that Apple sells a lot more ARM-based devices than x86-powered PCs. As a result, rumours transpired that Apple is interested in creation of its own ARM-based system-on-chips for its Macintosh systems as well. Intel does not believe that ARM will be able to compete against x86 in terms of performance.

"Go look at the performance of those platforms. They are taking our latest and high-end end versions of second-generation core, and ARM does not even come close to any capability there," said Mr. Kilroy.

Tags: Intel, x86, Apple, Macintosh

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