While the process between NVIDIA and Intel is not officially involving any other company, a fact that many manufacturers that produce computers using hardware from both may be forced to adopt a fully-approved Intel motherboard design for their future chips, which would imply a drop in performance and even a decrease in the number of equipment compatible with the company's models. This affects many computer manufacturers, but for Apple, it could mean an even bigger problem.
A general update on Ma's desktop lineup has long been considered, which has remained intact since the iMac was updated in late April. The rumors point to a migration of the Intel chips used in these machines to the new Core i7 with integrated memory controller, which are being affected in this process. Certainly the Cupertino people realized that Core 2 Duo is no longer worth using in iMacs, and Macs Pro also need a new performance leap, which at the moment can only be obtained through Nehalem.
On the other hand, NVIDIA became a partner in the development of high-performance graphics systems for Apple laptops, which is also likely to happen with desktops going forward. While rumors point to the adoption of the new GeForce 9 series on the iMac and Mac Pro – the latter complemented by a new top-of-the-line Quadro GPU – the process between NVIDIA and Intel puts Apple at an impasse: it cannot use Core i7 chips with the necessary NVIDIA controllers for the GPUs, making your upgrade plans for desktops stay stationary until this mess is resolved once and for all.
With no other legal options, Apple needs the two companies together. Otherwise, it will suffer the most if Intel wins the case. Their laptops need NVIDIA controllers to use the 9400M and 9600M GT GPUs, mainly in the MacBooks Pro architecture, which uses both non-simultaneously. This design will probably not be necessary on any desktop Mac, but updating them cannot be done in the way that has been corroborated for months: using Core i7 chips with the latest graphics technologies from NVIDIA, which require a hardware controller made by it.
On Intel's side, there won't be much to be done if NVIDIA wins the case: the way is for it to accept the low-handed court decision and everything will continue the way it is. In this whole roll, it is difficult to know which of your partnerships Apple will lose the most?