In the “did you know” category, analysts are looking at Apple’s developer codes to detect new company partnerships. rumour has it Apple has just added new lines to incorporate Marvell Technology Group’s (MRVL) new quad-core Armada XP processor. That’s big news for the semiconductor company.
MoneyShow.com reports that the code gave rise to speculation that there is a new MacBook Air in the making that could use Marvell instead of Intel’s chips. But investors be wary, the change could just indicate benchmark testing.
Paul McWilliams of Next Inning Technology Research writes that he doesn’t think the MacBook Air properly explains Marvell’s appearance. After all, PC products are sold at lower volumes at Apple and the change in processors could be more of a distractive folly than innovative improvement. Instead he sees “two rational reasons” for Marvell appearance in Apple’s programing codes.
One would be to evaluate the Marvell chip in comparison to an upcoming Apple-designed quad-core processor. Remember, Apple’s first processor, the A4, was simply a copy of the Samsung processor it had been using all along… As we see it, it’s only logical to assume a quad-core has been developed and will be released in the not too distant future — maybe in the iPhone 5 or iPad 3…
The second possibility we see is using Marvell in an entirely new iOS device — maybe the rumoured iTV. While it would seem that a quad-core processor would be overkill for a TV, we think we have to assume that if Apple in fact releases a TV under its brand name, it will be quite different from what we’re used to seeing.
According to McWilliams his firm sees good things ahead for Marvell, whether Apple is simply testing them out or not. “We think Marvell is a good speculative investment without any consideration that its processors will be used by Apple.”
Of course, these days corporate partnership with Apple is akin to wining the semiconductor lottery and stock prices could jump as investors try to get in on coattails of Apple’s success.
Interested in trading on this rumour? To help you start off your analysis, use Kapitall’s Compar-O-Matic to compare changes in average analyst recommendations of Marvell and its competitors:
Use the Turbo Chart to compare MRVL’s performance against the S&P500.