Apple Inc. has updated its MacBook Pro computers, featuring the latest Intel chips, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera.
The MacBook Pro refresh today reveals that Nvidia's graphic chips has been replaced by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on high end MacBook Pros. The move by Apple was foreshadowed by AMD replacing Nvidia on the iMac product line last fall.
We think the magnitude of the revenue shift is on the order of $100 million in annual revenue. Following this change, Nvidia's only remaining exposure to Apple will be on the Macbook Air - and once that business moves to Sandy Bridge, Nvidia will have zero remaining exposure to Apple, analyst Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial wrote in a note to clients.
Though, Caso said this would not affect near-term revenue for Nvidia, but Apple is of course a high profile customer, and loss of all Apple business will be viewed as a clear negative.
Nvidia had provided integrated graphics on the prior generation of 13 MacBooks. The new 13 MacBook Pro (launched today) will use Intel's Sandy Bridge processor, which includes Intel-integrated graphics.
The shift from Nvidia was very widely known, and was in Nvidia's guidance, which reflected a substantial drop in chipset revenue. However, Caso said Nvidia still currently provides integrated graphics for the MacBook Air, which was has not yet been refreshed.
When Apple moves the MacBook Air to Sandy Bridge, Nvidia will be out of the MacBook Air platform as well. We expect that refresh to occur shortly, but we think this is also widely anticipated, Caso said.
The analyst currently believes that Nvidia has about $85 million of integrated graphics revenue in the April quarter, and expect that to drop to zero within the next year.
As Apple replaced graphic chips of Nvidia with AMD, the $100 million in annual revenue will now shift to AMD.