RBC: Intel in talks with Apple to build iPhone processors

November 30, 2012, 3:50 PM UTC

FORTUNE — Hot on the heels of his colleague Amit Daryanani’s speculation about where Apple might go to supplement — or entirely replace — Samsung as the sole supplier of processors for Apple’s mobile devices, RBC Capital’s Doug Freedman reports Friday that Cupertino is already in talks with one of top contenders: Intel.

Acknowledging that there’s been speculation about this in the past, Freedman moves the ball forward by spelling out the terms of a possible deal:

  • Intel (INTC) would agree to use Apple’s preferred architecture for the iPhone — the one from Intel’s British rival, ARM Holdings (ARMH).
  • In return, Apple (AAPL) would agree to switch to Intel’s x86 architecture for the iPad.

According to Freedman, Apple’s demand for 12-inch system-on-a-chip wafers in 2013 could approach 415,000 — outstripping Samsung’s ability to supply.

“We believe,” he writes, that “Intel has the upper-hand due to the limitations of capacity at alternative sources” — chiefly TSMC  and GlobalFoundries.

He estimates that the revenue for whomever gets Apple’s foundry business will be roughly $2 billion in 2013, assuming 415,000 wafers at $5,000 a pop.