Omni Group CEO Ken Case believes Apple will change it's chip architechture "when the time is right".

Speaking with OS News yesterday, former NeXT developer Case added: "I'm sure Apple is keeping its options open, and will introduce support for another CPU architecture."

His comments fuel speculation that Apple is considering adopting processors from manufacturers other than Motorola.

Motorola's G4 development has slowed, meaning Apple is at a disadvantage in terms of processor speeds. Motorola is working on a new processor architecture - G5, but no active news on this has appeared.

Alternative suppliers include IBM with its PowerPC 970 chip, while others suggest Mac OS X has the ability to exist on Intel processors.

Case also revealed that the Omni Group, which distributes the OmniWeb browser, is "taking a hard look at KHTML". KHTML is the rendering engine used in Apple's OS X Web browser, Safari.

Of Safari, Case said: "I'm very glad to see Apple basing its products on standards and open-source technologies. Safari isn't really competition for OmniWeb. OmniWeb is for users looking for the best browsing experience, while Safari is aimed at entry-level surfers, he claims.

On Apple's unique position as hardware, software and operating systems vendor, Case said: "It allows Apple to innovate in ways that involve the complete integrated package, rather than being limited to innovation within each level".

Case also discussed his experiences with NeXT. Apple CEO Steve Jobs launched NeXT upon leaving Apple in 1985. Apple acquired NeXT - and Jobs - in 1996, folding many NeXT technologies into OS X.

The complete interview is available here.