Apple's relationship with Intel may not be as solid as many might think, according to the latest Mac rumours.

Despite launching a range of new MacBooks last week featuring Intel's latest Core i5 or Core i7 dual-core processors, Apple could be considering dumping Intel for AMD.

AppleInsider claims "according to people familiar with the matter," AMD representatives has been seen on Apple's Commuter Coach buses and heading towards Apple's HQ in recent weeks, presumably for meetings. 

"The meetings have reportedly included briefings by AMD that have since enabled Apple to begin working with AMD processors in its labs as part of an initiative to position the chips inside some of the company's forthcoming products," AppleInsider speculates.

"While AMD offers a variety of embedded processors, Apple is believed to be investigating the chipmaker's workstation and notebook class CPUs."

Talks with AMD could also be part of a competitive leveraging strategy to keep Intel interested in retaining Apple's core business, AppleInsider adds. The Mac gossip website also suggests simple cost cutting on the part of Apple, and the opportunity to sell cheaper computers, might also sway any future decision to switch to AMD.

Apple MacBook Pro

Last week, Intel announced its "best first quarter ever," recording net income of $2.4 billion for the quarter ended on 27 March, an increase of 288 per cent compared to the first quarter a year ago.

AMD also appear in good health. The company recently reported net profit of  $257 million on a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis for the quarter ended on 27 March, compared to a net loss of $416 million in the first quarter of 2009. The second consecutive quarterly profit for AMD, earnings per share were $0.09, beating the $0.05 estimated by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.