Intel: The Elephant in the Room has Finally Shown Itself

January 26, 2012

There’s now a smartphone that uses an Intel chip. The elephant has made itself heard in the ARM room.

Two years ago, when we started looking at ARM chipsets for Android devices to decide which ones to focus on first with our products at RADVISION, I had a chat with an engineer of one of these companies. It seemed like he wasn’t quite worried from his competitors that used ARM – they had the market figured between themselves rather well – he was more interested in Intel – what will they do, and when will they enter the market.

It wasn’t a question of if – only one of a when. For him, and I guess anyone dealing with ARM, Intel was the elephant in the room – the actual competitor no one talks about. They were the only company that could disrupt their industry and grab it away from all of them – if they just played right.

That hasn’t happened, and now ARM chipsets are strong in all mobile devices and with good technical and business reasons. But that may soon change: Intel has shown off a Lenovo phone based on a modified Atom chipset at CES. Not much, but definitely a start – especially if you factor in Jon Russell’s points on TheNextWeb about Intel’s decisions:

The company, which launched a dedicated mobile processor — Medfield — will introduce its first device in China before any other market, going against the convention of focusing on Western markets first.

You should read it all if you haven’t – Jon really got me thinking that this can be the move that brings Intel into the mobile world at last.

Cringely went even further, suggesting that Intel will/should aquire Qualcomm and be done with it. In a twisted sense – this makes real sense to me.

Time will tell how Intel plays this in 2012, but now no ARM vendor can dismiss the elephant any longer.

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