Word is going around that Apple's new generation of PCs will future a significant architectural change. According to Apple Insider the new wave of Mac computers will still use Intel processors but other than that they will have little to do with Intel. It's believed that a trio of upcoming Mac notebooks won't adopt Intel's Centrino 2 platform and that Apple may return to proprietary chipsets for its computers.
Assuming the chipsets in the new Macs are not based on Intel technology, that would leave Apple with only a handful of viable options. The company could return to a practice common during the years of PowerPC-based Macs in which it developed proprietary chipsets to support the primary processors in its systems.
Another option is that Apple could forge a relationship with one of the other established third party chipset manufacturers, such as NVidia, AMD or Via, in a move that would allow the company to build its next-generation systems using technology cherry-picked from the best of both worlds.
A move by Apple away from Intel chipsets may also be tied to concerns over the power-hungry nature of the chipmaker's more recent mobile chipsets. The Mac maker has been working to reduce the size and weight of its notebook offerings while simultaneously extending battery life and introducing new features not accessible to its rivals.
During a recent quarterly conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer made references to ongoing investments that would put pressure the company's profit margins but result in state of the art new products that their competitors aren't going to be able to match.