> Few days back there was an article titled "A Giant Threat to Intel" in which the author > suggested falling CPU prices as a giant threat to Intel even if it succeeds in > smartphones/tablets market.
> Though the point is valid, I was wondering how long Intel competitors will be able > to sell processors at low prices? How will they recover the cost of increasingly > powerful processors required for Windows 8 devices and future tablets/smartphones? > How will they fund move to next-gen processes, and who will? How will they fund > R&D to keep up with Intel?
Very true - Instruction Set IP, R&D and manufacturing costs are real and staggeringly high. Any semiconductor vendors has to be able to pony up these costs to do business. In fact, Intel's costs are lower than any ARM-SoC because it has integrated "IP+Mfg" and has a huge process lead (similar to what Apple has done in devices "HW+OS+some bundled SW").
Further, Intel has repeatedly made the point that they have low-cost CPUs but people tend to migrate upward. Just think - would you buy a Celeron rather than an i3 and i5 for your laptop? There will always be a market for the lowest-end, but the bulk of the market will tend to be in the mid-range.
Intel, being Intel, will be able to put a CPU or SoC for the whole range....at a better price point than any of its competitors.