Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in talks with Intel regarding usage of the latter's microprocessors. Today, Apple relies strictly on PowerPC chips from IBM but has had difficulty keeping pace with Intel-based competitors, particularly on the notebook front where the company has complained that IBM can't deliver a decent mobile offering. Most believe that if Apple moved to Intel, the company would be one baby step away from the birth of a Mac clone industry whether Apple endorses it or not. Shortly after the news surfaced, News.com's Michael Kanellos offered his analysis of the risks that would be involved in such a move (including the cloning issue/problem). But I liked the way this report by Forbes really got a gander at Apple's soft-white underbelly. Both analyses quote Instat/MDR chip analyst Kevin Krewell. Both also talk about how Apple is like IBM's neglected stepchild and that it could be using discussions with Intel as leverage to get more attention from IBM. Both are good middle-of-the-road takes on this on-again off-again rumor (it's certainly not a romance yet). But for something totally left wing, read why our own Paul Murphy thinks Intel is the wrong move if Apple really wants to switch. Says The Murph, "For the record, my belief is that Apple’s best route out of its strategic CPU dilemma is UltraSPARC."