Third Point urges snail-like Intel to explore strategic alternatives as market share deteriorates

Third Point, the hedge fund led by Dan Loeb, is urging snail-like Intel’s board of directors to hire an investment adviser to explore “strategic alternatives” after the chipmaker lost market share to TSMC, AMD, and even South Korean dishwasher-maker Samsung.

Intel snail

Ari Levy for CNBC:

Among the considerations should be divesting of “failed acquisitions,” Loeb wrote in a letter to Intel’s board on Tuesday. CNBC viewed a copy of the letter. Third Point, known for its activism, recently took a significant stake in Intel worth $1 billion, according to Reuters.

Intel shares rose about 5% after reports of the letter surfaced on Tuesday. Even with Tuesday’s rally, Intel is down 18% in 2020, while AMD, Intel’s top U.S. rival, has almost doubled in value and the S&P 500 has climbed 15%.

“The loss of manufacturing leadership and other missteps have allowed several semiconductor competitors to leverage TSMC’s and Samsung’s process technology prowess and gain significant market share at Intel’s expense,” Loeb wrote. Meanwhile, AMD has eaten away at Intel’s share of its “core PC and data center CPU markets,” he added.

Loeb indicated that Intel’s loss of manufacturing prowess raises national security concerns. “Without immediate change at Intel, we fear that America’s access to leading-edge semiconductor supply will erode, forcing the U.S. to rely more heavily on geopolitically unstable East Asia to power everything from PCs to data centers to critical infrastructure and more,” he wrote.

MacDailyNews Take: Intel, Apple only used you to get what they wanted and deserved. Let’s face it, you’ve always sucked. You’re now well past disposable.

Excuse us while we go fry some eggs on the closed lids of our 16-inch MacBook Pros heated by inefficient, outmoded Intel Core i9 hotplates.

Intel no longer leads. They haven’t for years now. This move by Apple will merely spotlight that obvious fact.

Apple-designed ARM-based Macs will trounce Intel in benchmarks and real world performance and battery life.

We’ve been anticipating ARM-powered Macs for quite a long time now and we can’t for the the process to begin!MacDailyNews, June 20, 2020

Intel is well-past its glory days. Today, Intel’s claim to fame – besides not being able to make modem chips very well – is peddling inefficient, embarrassing, fatally-flawed junk. — MacDailyNews, May 15, 2019

Apple has been, for years, building strength in the enterprise via BYOD and the rise of mobile which Apple ushered in with iPhone and iPad. “Compatibility with Windows” is not nearly as important today as it was even a few years ago… We expect to see Apple begin the ARM-based Mac transition with products like the MacBook and work their way up from there as the apps are brought over to ARM via Xcode and as the rest of the world continues to throw off the Microsoft Windows shackles into which they stupidly climbed so many years ago, lured, wrongly, solely by Windows PC sticker prices.MacDailyNews, June 19, 2019


  1. It would be fascinating to learn what happened at Intel. For a while their process technology was really driving performance. I have heard a rumor a while back that some high up guy was really pushing some sort of process technology that they couldn’t make work.

    My guess is that they made some process and architectural choices in order to gain high clock speeds and those choices steered them into a blind alley from which they are having a really hard time backing out of.

    1. Good insight I suspect, often happens when a dominant institution gets too confident in its invulnerability loses impetus take chances and when it does recognise dangers gets desperate to find a leap forward that it’s stagnation over the years, innate product bloat and lack of a culture of innovation makes very difficult to pull off. Even a blind leader would have seen not just a problematical future but the cliff edge approaching for at least the past 5 years so being in this position now must demonstrate failures in whatever they were doing to at least try to prevent it at Intel.

  2. Intel is still stuck at 14 nm because they are delaying microprocessor chips on purpose to delay the end of Moore’s Law, since we are near the end of silicon node reduction that will be at about 2 nm. Fortunately, competitors like ARM-based Silicon Based Macs with 5 nm TSMC chips are pushing, with 3 nm already in the works.

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