Intel's Mind for Mobile Space

Intel Mind for Mobile Space
Intel's Mind for Mobile Space from Q&A session with USA Today reporter Michelle Kessler. Intel CEO Paul Otellini says wireless innovations will continue to produce all kinds of enhanced products. "Think of the iPhone on steroids," he says. CEO Paul Otellini is expected to lay out the No. 1 chipmaker's plans to push further into everything from cellphones to digital video recorders during a speech Monday at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Intel (INTC) dominates the computer industry, with about 80% of the market for PC processing chips, but is a relative underdog in electronics. Otellini spoke with USA TODAY (GCI) reporter Michelle Kessler about why his company is bothering to start at the bottom of a new industry — and what impact Intel might have on that market.

Otellini sees mobile devices becoming more and more computer-like. Most of our readers are already well aware of just how far the mobile phone has come in recent years – high-end smartphones are more computer than they are cellphone. And that’s exactly the foothold Intel needs to claw its way up the mobile market-ladder. If mobile phones become mini-computers, then Intel’s strength in the PC-chip industry will give them an edge - in a market where manufacturers have to adapt their business model to a “smartphone world,” Intel is starting of as a true smartphone player.

Otellini will also be aiming straight at Apple’s heart with an iPhone competitor that is like an iPhone “on steroids - thin and in your pocket. Some will work on voice. They’ll have the full Internet at reasonable speed with no compromises.” Odd that Intel would publicly announce that they’ll be aiming to trounce the iPhone, what with Apple poised to give Intel’s Silverthorne chip some big-dog backing.

And, it looks like Verizon, Nokia, AT&T, and Vodafone’s (etc., etc.) backing of LTE as their next-gen network hasn’t fazed Intel’s support of WiMAX. It’s all a bit complicated (there’s a lot of regulatory red-tape and standardization required), but Otellini expects to have 250 million people covered by a WiMAX-blanket by 2010.

Oh, and here’s the best part of the whole interview. In regards to how Intel managed to work through their financial slump and get back to a position where they can call the shots, Otellini responded, “We focused a large portion of (research and development) on where we wanted to go. We have the financial resources. Even in bad times, we make a few billion a year.” You gotta love that. (
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