Rumors of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) exploring ARM-based Macs have persisted for years, with a recent report from MacBidouille renewing speculation. Apple allegedly has iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook prototypes running off of its own A-chips. Talk of Apple using its own chips has been around since at least 2011, but a lot has changed since then. Specifically, Apple has taken its chip prowess to unprecedented levels in terms of sophisticated designs as well as raw performance.

Apple's chip capabilities have skyrocketed in recent years, thanks in part to moving to custom designs. That's a potential threat to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), who would be displaced as the current Mac processor vendor. Intel likely has plenty of time before it has to start worrying though, as any transition would take many years to materialize, if at all. Even then, Intel has been working aggressively to win Apple's foundry business so it could make up for lost chip revenue with foundry revenue.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Apple's possible ARM-based Macs with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.

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Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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