Former Inquirer writer Charlie Demerjian is reporting (for his new project called SemiAccurate, mind you) that recent negotiations between Apple and Nvidia over next-gen hardware have come to a bitter halt. At issue is supposedly a much publicized problem with previous-generation GeForce GPUs that affected many of Apples MacBook laptops, forcing them to offer a costly warranty extension and repair refund policy.
While the newer 9400M chipsets which are now the basis of nearly all of Apples machines don't appear to be affected, there is some speculation that the 9600M GPUs used in 15" and 17" MacBook Pros may also suffer similar failures. But it is Nvidias questionable handling of the whole situation and arrogant stance that has Apple angered and looking for new suppliers.
However, the alleged ditching of Nvidia hardware (if true) is likely due to the fact that Core i7 chips for laptops are scheduled to be released in the second half of the year and Nvidia doesnt have a chipset product for that space. The graphics firm is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Intel over whether or not it is licensed to make chipsets compatible with Intel processors that include an integrated memory controller such as Nehalem CPUs.
Regarding its relationship with Apple, Nvidia claims nothing has changed in the last few weeks and that the Cupertino-based company is still buying their notebook GPUs and chipsets.