There was a time before the Apple iPhone and other smartphones roamed the earth when people relied on their PCs to access the internet. Back then, Intel was said to be the Gold Standard of chip makers. But that was then and these days Intel no longer has the same reputation. Intel also has had problems with its 10nm process node and delayed until 2022 the release of its 7nm manufacturing process.
There has been talk about Intel turning to contract manufacturer TSMC or Samsung Foundry to produce some of Intel's chip designs. In fact, recently Intel decided to outsource the production of its second-generation discrete graphics chip to TSMC. That is the company responsible for the manufacturing of Apple's 5nm A14 Bionic chipset and the powerful 5nm M1 chip that is replacing Intel components on some Macs
Last week, Intel CEO Bob Swan flew away from the company effective on February 15th. His replacement, Pat Gelsinger, is returning to the flock; an Intel veteran with over 30 years experience at Intel, Gelsinger recently spent his days as CEO of VMare. While Gelsinger doesn't take over until the middle of next month, he apparently is feeling the heat from Apple's M1 chip. The latter is equipped with 16 billion transistors. Compare that to the 11.8 billion transistors that are sardined into the A14 Bionic (which was a 38% hike from the 8.5 billion transistors found in the A13 Bionic).
The incoming Intel CEO met with company employees during the week and dropped what some might consider an insult on Apple. While addressing the troops, Gelsinger reportedly said, "We have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino" makes (italics added). Perhaps Mr. Gelsinger hasn't checked out the performance of the chips designed by that "lifestyle company in Cupertino." The M1 is delivering improved performance and battery life and the addition of the Apple-designed component put a jolt into the demand for Macs.
Perhaps Intel's next CEO was just trying to motivate the firm's employees. The point of the comment is that Intel is a company that produces chips, chips, and chips. As a result, the chips it produces should be better than the ones designed by Apple which makes different products to improve consumers' lives. In other words, Gelsinger is looking at the M1 and is saying that how could we let ourselves be outdone by a company that really doesn't focus on chips and is into consumer electronics instead.