Apple has confirmed the rumours today at the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco that it will over the next two years be transferring to Intel chips for its Apple computer range.

The announcement means that its long term with IBM will come to an end.

Apple said it will begin delivering Macintosh products using Intel microprocessors by this time next year and will have all of its all flagship Macintosh computers using Intel processors by the end of 2007.

The move is thought to have been borne out of a frustration with IBM in recent months over supply of the G5 chip for its desktop models, but also one that could be fitted within Apple's PowerBook range.

"This is not going to be a transition that happens overnight. It's going to happen over a few years," Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs said.

Both Microsoft and Adobe have promised support for the new chip in what is seen as a good omen to the success of transferring over to a new system.

To encourage developers to switch from PowerPC to Intel, Apple is offering a $999 Developer Transition Kit with 3.6GHz Pentium 4 hardware, OS X 10.4.1, pre-release of XCode 2.1 universal binaries for its premium-level developers.