Repost from Kitchedee and I have the same question
How is Intel gonna grow, even if it keeps shrinking its chips when Apple and Samsung are not mobile customers???? How are all those facilities gonna be at full capicity without either of those two companies as Mobile cusmtomers? Someone please tell me how. I'm not hatin, I just think it's a VERY legitimate concern.
Your analysis makes interesting reading for one not accustomed to the interplay between process and architecture. The factor missing is the market. The volume leaders for shipping mobile gadgets, Apple and Samsung are locked and loaded with their own chips. They're probably not going to switch. The ray of light that Intel has is Windows 8 becoming hugely successful on tablets. Intel based tablets could become your low end PCs and start replacing iPads. That means Intel gets back some of the low ASP market that has much higher volume which so far it has ceded to the iPad. In smartphones, Medfield and its successors in the future may be great class leading chips but without a device maker to buy them. How many phones can Motorola sell over Apple and Samsung.
Overall, the picture doesn't look too promising for Intel from the market perspective
Apple and Samsung are not the only phones made in volume in the world. If Intel has the best phone chip other phone vendors will use it to become better competition to those two companies and Intel can still supply its own (cheap) phone direct to carriers. It's an excellent strategy by Bell, not only provide the chip by itself but also a reference phone direct to carriers so Intel has two future ways of succeeding in this market, provide the best phone chip and/or the best/cheapest phone.
If Intel's phone chip is 25% faster than the one used in the iPhone or the Galaxy, user's of Intel based phones will hardly be able to tell the difference between their phones and the incumbents. The phones nowadays have become so fast that speed is no longer the major differentiating factor that it was in PC days and in early mobile phone days. Intel is going to face a tough sell on its home turf which is speed. If you look at the way Apple markets its iPhone, they don't even mention the clock frequency of their chips. In such a market, pitching a "faster" chip will not be easy. Both Samsung and Apple have a history of making smart phones. Their overall experience and expertise is what differentiates them, not the speed of their chips. It's a little too much to expect a reference design to compete with a well executed product. Reference designs are for nibbling at the tail end of the market.
Ok, I had forgotten about the reference design. I actually spoke to an Intel Tech Guy about a month ago and asked him about phones and practically the first thing out of his mouth is that anybody could just grab the reference design and run with it. Sounds to me like Intel is very undervalued if you take a 2 to 3 year timeframe.