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Mansfield may lead Apple away from Intel chips in Macs

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple's Technologies group, headed by senior vice president Bob Mansfield, is exploring advanced versions of the chipsets used in the iPhone and iPad lines for use in the company's future desktops and MacBooks. The outlet cites three people familiar with Apple's research initiative as confirming the plans.

According to Bloomberg, the switch isn't likely to happen for at least a few years, but its sources insist that Intel getting the boot is "inevitable" as Apple eventually wants to put its desktops, MacBooks and mobile devices on equal footing in terms of capabilities and compatibility. This shouldn't come as a surprise to most Mac fans who've witnessed the steady increase in iOS features making their way into OS X in recent years.

Abandoning Intel for its own internally developed silicon makes sense in terms of Apple's financial and patent interests. However, such a drastic move would have far-reaching implications for developers and legacy software, so it's not likely something the company is taking lightly.

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