Apple will start using Intel chips, according to a number of media reports.

Steve Jobs is expected to announce the decision during his keynote speech at the company's developer's conference later today, according to report on CNet, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Financial Times.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that Apple may have leaked the news to the top news organisations.

Apple plans to begin the shift with low-end PCs in the middle of next year and extend it to high-end PCs in mid-2007.

First reports of a possible deal surfaced in The Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. Asked last week at the Computex trade show in Taipei about a deal with Apple, Anand Chandrasekher, general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, said the company has long pursued a deal with Apple. "We always talk to Apple," he said. "Apple is a design win that we've coveted for 20 years and we continue to covet them as a design win. We will never give up on Apple."

Ssuch a move would represent a major shift for Apple, which has been building computers based on the IBM Power PC architecture since the mid-90s. It would also be a further shift in the processor industry that has recently seen Microsoft break with Intel in the game console sector and chose PowerPC for its Xbox 360 console.

There has certainly been plenty of speculation. Some question possibile software incompatibility between the two platforms and others wondering if Apple has anything to gain from such a move. Many state simply: "I'll believe it when I see it."