The move by Apple to Intel processors may spark a rise in cheap Mac laptops, it has been revealed. Laptops are becoming more and more popular, with a market that's growing more than three times faster than desktop personal computers. A move to Intel processors will enable Apple to produce laptops that run faster and cost less money.

Using Intel chips may enable Apple to make "smaller, lighter laptops" and "more macho higher-performance laptops" than possible with IBM and Motorola's chip business... That's because the processors create less heat and require less cooling, making it easier to build the slimmer styles consumers prefer.

The faster speeds may help build on Apple's recent gains in market share. Shipments of Apple's Macintosh PCs surged 45 percent in the U.S. in the first quarter, spurring the biggest market share gain in five years, as the success of its iPod music players drove new Mac purchases, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

Intel chips will debut in Apple's cheaper, less-powerful PCs starting in 2006, then in more-expensive models in 2007.