Intel Marketing Gaffe Crowned the M1 as World’s Best CPU

Did Intel concede the war of silicon to Apple in its latest ad? In the latest marketing campaign promoting the company’s 11th Gen processors as the world’s best silicon for thin and light laptops, Intel had prominently featured an Apple laptop that’s not even powered by its latest and greatest mobile silicon.

Intel claimed that the world’s best processor title was “based on unique features and testing of Intel’s Core i7-1185G7 processor,” according to the fine print in the shot. The ad was spotted and shared by Twitter user @juneforce.

“That’s why it’s so ironic,” Twitter user @juneforce wrote in response to another tweet. “They are advertising the 11th gen Core i-series when no Macs have them. Also, they diss MacBooks having Intel chips in them, not comparing performance to the M1 version, probably for good reason.”

However, Apple had never used the processor on any of its current or prior MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptops, and it appears that Intel had used a stock photo from Getty Images, according to MacRumors, which portrayed a user on headphones using a MacBook Pro with a Magic Mouse. Without reading the fine print and seeing the image of a MacBook Pro, some could mistake Intel’s messaging and assume that the world’s best processor on a thin and light laptop would in fact be Apple’s M1 CPU.

Apple, once an Intel partner, famously parted ways with the chip-maker in a WWDC announcement last year. Since then, the Mac-maker launched new laptops and desktops powered by its own in-house developed solution called the M series CPU. Apple’s M-series CPUs have been lauded by users as being powerful and power-efficient, as they’re based on the Arm processor designs used on smartphones, rather than the x86 architecture that’s used by Intel and rival AMD. Apple still sells older Mac models powered by Intel processors and AMD graphics alongside its new M1-powered machines.

Since Apple debuted its MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini powered by the M1 processor, Intel has been heavily promoting the power of its silicon and laptop designs by its partners. In a previous ad, Intel hired actor Justin Long — who famously portrayed the “I’m a Mac” character in Apple’s since-discontinued ad campaigns — to promote the merits of the design of laptops made by Intel partners.

Though this latest marketing mixup may be embarrassing for the company, it isn’t the first time that Intel has amped up its messaging about the benefits of its processor design. In an earnings call, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger talked up the benefits of the company’s forthcoming 7nm Meteor Lake processor while at the same time telling investors that the company had invested $20 billion in new fabs in the hopes of courting Apple as a client. In essence, Intel hopes to one day manufacture Apple’s M-series processors in one of its two new Arizona chip manufacturing facilities.

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