Intel running mobile "marathon," iPhone and iPad have head start

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini sees the mobile race as a "marathon" that the company will ultimately take the lead in, in spite of Apple's significant head start.



Otellini expressed the views Wednesday in an email to employees, which was obtained by Bloomberg. Echoing Tuesday's earnings call comments, he referred to "the big question on many people's minds" as how Intel will make up for its minimal presence in the tablet and smartphone markets.



"Winning an architectural contest can take time," said Otellini in the email, noting that the effort will be a "marathon, not a sprint."



Despite being the world's largest chipmaker, Intel does not provide chips to any current smartphones or high-profile tablets. The Santa Clara, Calif., company is "on track to showcase [its] first production smartphones in 2011," said Otellini, but skeptics suspect that it's too little too late.



Otellini himself has said that the company's mobile Atom processor should have come 2 years earlier. The Atom chips have proved to be too power-hungry for most mobile implementations smaller than a netbook. Early rumors of an Atom-based Apple tablet or smartphone failed to materialize. The iPad and iPhone instead run a custom-built ARM A4 processor.



Citing the company's late entry into the server market, which it now dominates with over 90 percent market share, as an example of a come-from-behind success, Otellini remains undaunted.



?I am also very optimistic about our opportunity in tablets and smartphones, even though we are not first to market with a solution,? Otellini said. ?Ultimately, we can and will lead.?



Intel posted record earnings this week, but Otellini admitted that the iPad and other tablets may be eating away at PC margins, especially netbooks. Otellini hinted that tablets will "probably" impact PC sales.



"We take a longer-view of the tablet opportunity," Otellini told investors Tuesday. "In the end, it will be additive to our bottom line, and not take away from it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    maybe it is just me but ARM has a larger head start than a few years. The are king of lower power and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Intel has made a good run with their notebook line of processors and the Atom looks like it has potential, but it seems it hasn't really made the progress you would expect.



    We'll see I guess.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    I don't get it. Since when is the solution to not making the right chips to make the products that use them? Apple is not in competition with Intel, hell, they use their processors in Macs. Why does Otellini have to beat Apple in the hardware game when their expertise is in silicon. Seems like something has been left out of this story. Is Intel now moving into the consumer electronics field? That would be huge news in itself. An Intel branded laptop? An Intel branded desktop. No more just "Intel Inside," but "Intel Inside and Outside"?
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Intel is acting more and more like a whiney adolescent every day. "Guys, c'mon...! Can't I just have a monopoly? I promise I'll be good!"
  • Reply 4 of 38
    I don't get why Intel is so obsessed with the iPad and iPhone. Intel shouldn't be worried about Apple but ARM who's kicking their asses in mobile. Apple is not even in the chip business. They make their own chip for their own use.
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    I don't get it. Since when is the solution to not making the right chips to make the products that use them? Apple is not in competition with Intel, hell, they use their processors in Macs. Why does Otellini have to beat Apple in the hardware game when their expertise is in silicon. Seems like something has been left out of this story. Is Intel now moving into the consumer electronics field? That would be huge news in itself. An Intel branded laptop? An Intel branded desktop. No more just "Intel Inside," but "Intel Inside and Outside"?



    The point is that intel vows to supply the majority of chips for mobile devices, not that they will make the actual devices.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    I don't get why Intel is so obsessed with the iPad and iPhone. Intel shouldn't be worried about Apple but ARM who's kicking their asses in mobile. Apple is not even in the chip business. They make their own chip for their own use.



    I guess the rise of ARM CPU architecture and the popularity it has now in the mobile device market has touched Intel's bottom line.



    "Wintel" will eventually be cut off from virtually all mobile devices (sans laptops) if the current trend continues, that's why MS and Intel are so furious at attacking Apple now - Apple is just a nominal target, their real enemy is ARM.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    -ag--ag- Posts: 123member
    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    A good example of this is that if say the mac started using some new Apple/AMD hybrid chip (similar to what they are doing with ARM). Then thats a reason for other companies to also start looking elsewhere.



    Suddenly not only do they loose Apple but then lets say Dell and Acer leave as well.

    It would ruin their OEM market.



    And the reason why they don't go after ARM is because they don't make cpus themselves. they just design them.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    A good example of this is that if say the mac started using some new Apple/AMD hybrid chip (similar to what they are doing with ARM). Then thats a reason for other companies to also start looking elsewhere.



    Suddenly not only do they loose Apple but then lets say Dell and Acer leave as well.

    It would ruin their OEM market.



    And the reason why they don't go after ARM is because they don't make cpus themselves. they just design them.



    I'm gonna disagree a little here. I think it's quite likely that apple will go into time and money required to make a custom chip and possibly even system on a chip for future macs. Dell and HP have no reason or ability to do so, because they don't make the software, and therefore can't really optimize the chips for their architecture.



    Intel is not in trouble if apple has its own chips, they are in trouble if android has ARM chips. But I guess this point has been stated quite a few times already.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    We will see how this develops.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Citing the company's late entry into the server market, which it now dominates with over 90 percent market share, as an example of a come-from-behind success, Otellini remains undaunted.



    The primary difference between server and mobile computing is that mobile computing requires the processor to work when not connected to a wall outlet. This basically means that power efficiency is the No. 1 priority of mobile computing. In that sense, there's really no "give", when compared to server computing, where raw power trumps all else.



    Unless Intel can top ARM in power efficiency, then ARM will retain the lead in mobile computing. Besides, even if Intel creates a top-notch x86 mobile processor, then any mobile device maker currently on ARM (almost all of them) would have to do a PowerPC-Mac-style conversion process that would take years, and bloat app sizes during this transition. Intel's best off licensing ARM and creating a best-in-class ARM processor, instead of relying on its own technology.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    I doubt that Steve would switch from Intel to ARM for their Macs so quickly after PowerPC to x86. Remember, the PowerPC to x86 was hard enough. Transitioning from Intel to AMD is easier, because both make x86 processors that could work with current Mac software.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,973member
    It is amazing to remember Apple founded ARM back in the 1990 with Acorn. It's a shame they didn't hold the technology and IP in house. Selling off that ownership may be one of SJ's few mistakes.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    A good example of this is that if say the mac started using some new Apple/AMD hybrid chip (similar to what they are doing with ARM). Then thats a reason for other companies to also start looking elsewhere.



    Suddenly not only do they loose Apple but then lets say Dell and Acer leave as well.

    It would ruin their OEM market.



    And the reason why they don't go after ARM is because they don't make cpus themselves. they just design them.



    Just remember that AMD, despite producing some great chips now and then, consistently loses money. Working with a company long term that has financial problems is pretty risky. If Apple switches from Intel to AMD, AMD goes under, Apple would have to tuck its tail between its legs and go begging back to Intel for chips.



    Never underestimate the power that Intel has. Many times AMD had superior chips well before Intel had anything similar. Intel caught up and floods the market with chips and AMD loses. All this despite the fact that AMD chips are generally lower priced.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    To Apple, the bottom line is profit margin. Otherwise if percentage of the total market is the barometer, then the likes of HP, Dell, Acer, etc, would have been viewed more valuable by the stock market.



    Intel chips of course, can overtake Apple's iPads and other iOS gadgets (iPhone, iPod Touch), if other makers of tablets would stick to Intel chips, which is not a certainty unless they can produce more energy efficient chips or they buy chip manufacturers that produce the one most used in mobile computing.



    There is a concept in historical analysis called determinism (I think) where simple but critical incidents can have great impact on the outcome of events that will have far-reaching impact. One famous example is the "Trojan Horse" that changed the course of the Hellenic Wars. It's just like the role of "catalysts" in determining the outcome of chemical reactions.



    The Wintel technology went head-to-head with Apple in the "mobile music" hardware, and we know where that consumer technology is at right now. Will there be a change in "mobile music"? It is probable but the possibility of that happening is not likely -- until a new technology supplants the existing "mobile music"technology, e.g., Walkman (of the 1980s) to iPods in the current decade.



    It was the transformation of the iPod technology to morph into a more multipurpose/multifunctional consumer/tech gadget made possible by the combination of newer technologies (ARM, and other chips technologies) and softwares (iOS) that led to the gradual eclipse but not demise of the prior iPod technology.



    Here again, even in smartphones, it is probable (and may even be likely) that the likes of Androids and mobile OS may eclipse the total output of IOS hardware, but that is not a certainty. However, Steve Jobs learned from his missteps during the Apple vs Wintel competition in the 1980's-1990s, and developed a strategy beginning with the iMac aesthetics and technology/software that led to the domination of iPods in mobile music hardware technology.



    So far, many other companies are simply following the lead of Apple. And, as noted by others more thoughtful tech analysts, no company has so far offered a comparable consumer product equivalent to the iPod -- which could become Apple's Trojan horse to blindside other manufacturers in terms of the future consumer choices of young people today.



    Unlike the smartphone gadgets sector, Apple's other iOS products are not dependent on the mediation of telephone companies -- but dependent on Apple's marketing strategy, advertising, continuing innovation to push the boundaries and most of all, its focus in the end user, be it individual consumers or companies. So far it is doing all the correct moves.



    In this regard, I hope Apple will accelerate the development of the html5, to be at the forefront and truly marginalize the ever presence of the more ubiquitous Flash. For example, my new MacBook Pro still defaults to flash version when viewing media, like You Tube. The proponents of html5 must ensure that existing and newer internet site will have a more developed html5 technology so that it will be adopted as default rather than the option. This is not a done deal, at the moment. Companies, like Google, and developers of mobile OS, may have every interest and inclination to develop and prefer Flash over html5, just to slowdown Apple's iOS gadgets marketshare.



    The impression of chic, high quality, ease of use for consumers, increasing choices for Apps and their specific when combined with competitive cost will ensure Apple's position as it has done so far in the iPods.



    The ecosystem carefully developed and nurtured by for its products, OSX and iOs -- is formidable in maintaining the Apple's competitiveness and more important its profitability; even if it won't be the leader in terms of total units sold. The effectivity of misinformation, e.g., open/choice vs walled garden may have impact. Also, Apps are a critical factor in the lead of Apple; but these are made by individuals and companies beholden to the iOS only so long as it serves their purpose.



    As other mobile OSs come to maturation and gain traction, as Android did, then they become lucrative markets to be explored by Apps developers, as is already happening, especially among bigger gamemaker software companies.. This will be accelerated if major movers, like Google will wise up, take the risk and invest more money to develop an ecosystem comparable, if not better than that developed by Apple.



    In regard mobile OS, I am not to sure about the proprietary Windows Phone 7 which has to be licensed for a fee by mobile gadget manufacturers, when they have free choices like the Android, and possibly even Chrome, in the future. Licensing fee of even $5-15 per gadget is a lot of money reducing the profit margin of hardware manufacturers, especially with the available open source OS -- that each company can fork, just like China is doing. In a sense, this is the strength and potential Achiless heal of "open source". For example, fragmentation complicated the development and subsequent consumer use of technologies. On the other hand, "standardization" can stymie development and takeover of newer and "better" technologies.



    There is also a fatalistic view of history: "This too shall pass.". Nothing last!.



    Empires have fallen, to the extent that the mightiest of the past are among the weaker among nations of today. And this applies too to industries (the horse buggy replaced by the train and then automobiles, etc.) and companies -- Standard Oil, Hearst Publication, MaBell, AOL, IBM (still around, but not the IBM of the 1950s to 1970s),



    New technologies supplant old technologies -- affecting the fate of nations, industries and companies in turn affecting humanity.



    The original visionary has impact on the lifetime of a company. We wish that Steve Jobs will leave forever. There are some in Microsoft who wish Bill Gates will come back, but he has moved on behind the simple pursuit of power and domination to more lofty goals to help improve the plight of humanity



    In his own way, Steve Jobs is doing the same in his obsession with the role of technology and ease of use, to help consumers and companies. I hope Steve Jobs may have time to devote some of his contemplative time to go further.



    But, even if he will not ever take the same course as Bill Gates did, his vision in technology, aesthetics and consumers will endure -- that the consumer is not a simple cash cow. One can profit without forgetting the user.



    CGC
  • Reply 14 of 38
    I'd say this is more like a 'death march' for Intel. Ironically, Intel acquired an ARM foundry, but chose to go with their own design (Atom) instead. Intel ALWAYS wants to own both the IP and manufacturing capacity. Now they realize that Atom is late and power-hungry compared to other ARM-based designs. Of course, the key is software. They will not only have to convince others to port their software to a design that is more expensive and power hungry. Apple is pretty well set, with their own A4 design, and the rest really don't have a product which competes with iPad. Google is doing well, with Android, but the handsets are mainly ARM-based. Moore's Law doesn't hold up where the design point is watt-per-cycle, not total cycles...
  • Reply 15 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    A good example of this is that if say the mac started using some new Apple/AMD hybrid chip (similar to what they are doing with ARM). Then thats a reason for other companies to also start looking elsewhere.



    Suddenly not only do they loose Apple but then lets say Dell and Acer leave as well.

    It would ruin their OEM market.



    And the reason why they don't go after ARM is because they don't make cpus themselves. they just design them.



    Bingo!
  • Reply 16 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Apple is not in competition with Intel, hell, they use their processors in Macs.



    Intel will be in direct competition with Apple when they release Meego (a Intel\\Nokia mobile OS). From what I've heard relations between the two companies are icy at best.



    Other phone manufactures are also using ARM, however both Android and WP7 are designed in such a way that they could move between ARM and x86 as opposed to Apple\\iOS that totally cuts out x86 (even to the extent of Apple working on their own ARM SOC)



    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple continue to move toward AMD\\custom chips and away from Intel altogether.



    As the world pushes toward mobile computing Intel are starting to lose their grip on the chip market and they know it. ARM is by far the biggest single threat to Intel's existence.



    Atom so far hasn't delivered on the promise of low power mobile computing (or at least not compared to ARM). The belief is that Medfield (release 2011) will bring Atom in line with ARM and the next iteration (release 2012) could take Atom beyond ARM, however it's impossible to say where ARM (or Apple's custom ARM SOC) will be in 2 years time.



    It has also been surmised that Microsoft's lack of presence in the tablet arena is at least partially due to their backing of Intel/Atom and that a custom Windows tablet UI is in development awaiting the release of a mobile SOC from Intel that is competitive with Apple's ARM offering.



    So we have...
    • Apple with across the board backing of ARM to the total exclusion of x86 (mobile\\tablet\\living room)

    • Google with the capability to back both

    • Microsoft with WP7 (ARM or x86) and an x86 tablet

    • Intel\\Nokia with MeeGo (presumably to push x86 in both mobile and tablet)

    • RIM - Seems to be ARM across the board

    • HP\\Palm - probably ARM

    So there isn't just a battle of the mobile OS's going on, there is a battle of mobile architectures as well!
  • Reply 17 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmadave View Post


    I'd say this is more like a 'death march' for Intel ...



    the enterprise and consumer market segments for servers, desktops and notebooks seems quite fine nowadays. 'death march' is hyperbole at the moment.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    It is amazing to remember Apple founded ARM back in the 1990 with Acorn. It's a shame they didn't hold the technology and IP in house. Selling off that ownership may be one of SJ's few mistakes.



    For years in the late 90s, selling off its ARMHY holdings was about the only positive thing about Apple's quarterly reports.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    What you are going o find is that over the next few years companies such as Apple will move all of their CPUs away from intel. and THAT is the real reason why they are scared.



    ...



    Suddenly not only do they loose Apple but then lets say Dell and Acer leave as well.

    It would ruin their OEM market.



    You must be kidding. Intel is in no danger of losing the desktop or server market. Nobody doubts that all major OEMs will continue to use Intel chips for the foreseeable future. x86 rules this segment. There are no challengers. And there are only two suppliers of consequence of x86 chips: Intel and AMD. AMD only has the fabs to supply a small percentage of the market, and their products are at present uncompetitive. Bringing new fab capacity online costs many billions of dollars (that AMD doesn't have), and takes several years.



    In fact, Apple can't even afford to switch to AMD for this reason. You probably aren't aware, but a few years back Dell made a big commitment to selling AMD-based machines, and bought tremendous volume of AMD CPUs. Ironically this nearly destroyed AMD. To get the Dell deal they had to offer very low prices, and Dell consumed a huge portion of their output, which alienated their core market (smaller system builders). It was an unmitigated disaster.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post


    Intel is in no danger of losing the desktop or server market ...



    yes. Intel Xeons, for example, are far more prevalent than AMD Opterons in the data centre. as for the consumer market, the Core series is doing quite well at the moment.
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