Apple seems to have surprised just about everyone today by purchasing P.A. Semi for $278 million. P.A. Semi doesn't manufacture its own chips, but instead specializes in the design of low power PowerPC processors. The firm's founder also has a background in the design of StrongARM processors akin to those currently employed in the iPhone and iPod Touch. Speculation is that any processors that come from this new relationship will be used in future iPhones and iPods and not desktops. This puts an end to some of the rumors that the next generation of iPhones would make use of Intel's Atom processor. With this purchase it also seems that Apple is committing to a two-platform strategy with one for mobile devices and another, Intel, for desktops and laptops.