“Intel outlined its plan to catch up in the smartphone processor business at its annual investor day in Santa Clara, California, Thursday: crush competitors with the weight of its multi-billion-dollar fabs and the thousands of developers it can throw at the problem of tuning mobile software to run on its processors,” Brian Caulfield reports for Forbes.
“The goal: keep the attention of key customers such as Apple as smartphones, tablets, and personal computing devices converge,” Caulfield reports. “Apple relies on Intel processors for its notebook and desktop computers, and ARM-based designs for its booming smartphone and tablet products — leading some to fret that Apple could one day switch to ARM-based chips for the Mac. ‘Our job is to insure our silicon is so compelling, in terms off running the Mac better or being a better iPad device, that as they make those decisions they can’t ignore us,’ Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini said.”
Caulfield reports, “Intel’s formula for addressing its challenge in the smartphone processor business is the same one the Santa Clara, Calif.-based processor manufacturer has used to dominate everything from server rooms to personal computers: use its size to support manufacturing capabilities its rivals can’t match.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Sounds great, big boy. Oh, one thing: You’re not as big as you think.
Because of their awful mobile processor efforts to date, Intel’s rival is now Apple (A4, A5, A5X, A6) and the rapidly-growing Apple already has double the revenue of Intel, double the profits, is four times the size of Intel (market value), and has of seven times the amount of cash on hand as Intel or basically enough to buy Intel outright.
In effect, Ottelini’s “plan” to overpower “rivals” that include Apple is as flawed as a Pentium processor. His best bet, at least initially, would be to woo Apple’s business by offering to fab Apple’s ARM-based “A” processors. After all, Apple would probably like to put a bit of distance between themselves and their slavish copier Samsung, wouldn’t you think?
That said, if Intel actually can someday produce an innovative mobile processor that bests Apple’s ARM-based “A” designs, Apple should be ready and willing to switch. One should assume, based on history, that Apple has multiple versions of iOS (and OS X) ready-to-go at all times that run on various chip architectures.