Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is sort of like Luke Skywalker from the conclusion of Star Wars Episode V.
Defeated by someone who expects more of him (Darth Vader), Luke loses a hand and has it replaced with a piece of robotic artificial technology. For Apple, we can think of Darth Vader as its shareholders, and Luke’s lost hand the equivalent of Apple’s 35% loss in market cap since last September.
Clearly, Luke Skywalker’s replacement hand is the allegorical representation of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s decision to “fix” itself by offering an expanded capital return plan to woo shareholders again. But we figured you made it that far?
So, why the heck are we bringing up a fictional character from a galaxy far, far away, and comparing it to the most iconic technology company of our generation? The reason is simple: just as Luke teamed up with Lando Calrissian in Star Wars Episode VI to save Han Solo, Apple looks like it’s planning on teaming up with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to boost the next iteration of its MacBook.
According to various tech sites, though nothing is exactly confirmed at this point, there are strong indications that Intel’s Haswell chip will power Apple’s next line of upper-tier Retina MacBooks. Most expect Tim Cook, Cupertino & Co. to release the laptop in October, and if Intel’s successor to the Ivy Bridge processor is on board, it may be an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) exclusive.
Earlier this summer, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities stated in a note to clients that he expected an Apple-Intel connection to be announced as “the consumer peak season has arrived,” or in other words, by June or July.
While it remains to be seen just how much more efficient or cost-effective an Apple-exclusive Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Haswell chip would be, it’s worth noting that according to CPU World, it should be about 6% faster than the Ivy Bridge line.
This additional speed comes with an added downside, however, as most techies estimate the chip to be 10–15 °C hotter and draw as much as 30 watts of power more than its predecessor.
Of course, an Apple-specific version of the Haswell chip might sacrifice some of this speed for less heat–an existing, but not prevalent problem with current MacBook Pros–though we’ll have to wait and see.
What we do know is that if you’re unwilling to buy Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) off this news, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) might serve you just as well. After all, gigantic money manager Ken Fisher holds both companies in his equity portfolio, while Russell Hawkins prefers Intel to Apple, so there are plenty of ways to play this situation.