Intel is buying the wireless products division of Infineon in a $1.4 billion deal due to go through in early 2011.
Analysts say the move marks Intel's desire to get closer to Microsoft and further distanced from Apple.
Apple and Intel partnered up several years back when the computer maker made a huge switch away from its IBM PowerPC CPU architecture. Since then, the two have been close collaborators for chips inside Apple's Mac-based computers--even seeing a one-off special-edition low profile chip being designed by Intel for the first-generation MacBook Air. But the fastest growing portion of Apple's business has been the iPod, iPhone, and iPad mobile-devices sector, and these devices (which have overturned three different markets) don't use Intel chips: The iPad in particular is a challenge to Intel's dominance of the portable PC market, and it even uses Apple's own-branded ARM-architecture A4 CPU, and has been selling like hot cakes. With Apple's moves into this market, Intel's execs must've been getting antsy, and back in July there was even some thinking that Apple could buy Infineon and really ratchet-up its vertical integration to challenge Intel directly. Intel and Apple's relationship is complicated. And now its got more so.
Read more at Fast Company.