How Intel will fare in the post-Otellini era

Otellini managed Intel's transition to a company striving for relevance in the mobile market.

By Loyd Case, PC World |  Hardware, Intel, Paul Otellini

It's unlikely that Otellini's departure will signal any substantial changes. Legal wrangles aside, Intel under Otellini saw steady revenue and earnings growth, even as Intel aggressively implemented new, higher density manufacturing processes that cost billions to implement. The future of all tech products lie with lower power consumption and increasing mobility, and it's unlikely we'll see Intel shift away from that focus. If anything, a new CEO will likely push Intel harder towards mobile designs, with desktop processors borrowing technology from the low power side rather than vice versa.

More interesting will be how Intel's sales and marketing will change. Relatively few people care about the CPU inside their smart phone or tablet, and it's unlikely that any Intel marketing campaign will make end users care. Add in the fact that even high end smart phones tend to be built with low cost, commodity chips. That means Intel will need to compete on price, something it's never been fond of doing. On top of that, it doesn't really have the marketing leverage on the mobile side that it has in the PC business, so potential OEM customers don't care about issues like x86 compatibility or the chipset ecosystem. What phone OEMs want is price and guaranteed delivery. Intel's manufacturing muscle may play well, giving Intel marketers some leverage. But it's up in the air, and with ARM owning the lion's share of the smart device market, Intel has a long uphill battle. Will it be able to push PC technology down far enough so that it can compete on price and power, even as revenues from the PC side continue to slide? That's the conundrum the next Intel CEO will need to face, and it won't be an easy puzzle to solve.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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