Tim Cook on M1 and Intel: “We only go in there when we think we can do something better”. What is driving Apple to manufacture its components instead of buying them off the shelf? That’s the question one analyst asked at Apple’s financial results conference last night. The question is a topical one as we find Apple during the biggest architecture transition in its history.
Harsh Kumar is a managing director at investment bank Citi, also known as Citigroup. This analyst attended Apple’s shareholder conference, which is always held by phone. In the Q&A, Kumar wanted to know “how Apple determines what is strategic and what drives Apple to do it themselves and what is not strategic.”
The answer came from Tim Cook himself: “The way we decide to do [chips], we ask ourselves, can we do it better, can we deliver a better product, can we buy something in the market. And that’s great, if it’s as good as what we could make, we’ll buy it. We will only go in where we believe we can do something better and therefore make a better product for the user.”
Cook’s statement implies that Intel’s processors were no longer doing their job, with Apple Silicon being superior in every respect.
Cook goes on to give the M1 chip as an example. He talks about how they have created a chip that is superior to what they could buy on the market, in a clear reference to Intel. And how they have combined their hardware and software expertise to conceive the M1. For the executive, the market response, despite supply constraints, has been “incredible”.
For Apple, launching its chips was a strategic decision made a decade ago. One that continues to bear fruit many years later, differentiating its products from the rest and becoming independent from suppliers with agendas, interests, priorities, and roadmaps that do not always coincide with Apple.