Repost from Kitchedee and I have the same question
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.
Intel does have a chance at succeeding in mobile, but not in the short term. Going by their past record, they don't seem to have the staying power to wait it out for their time. e.g. Look at what happened with XScale. If they hadn't sold it off to Marvell when they did and stuck with it, today, they could have been supplying most of the mobile gadget market with ARM based chips. Instead we have today's scenario where a big scheme is being played out under the low power IA banner. How long they'll stick with it is anybody's guess.
I post here because I'm fidgety when I take breaks from my work. My posting here is not going to make me less worried about Intel's success.
As usual, KhitchDee, you know just enough to be dangerous.
The issue here is functionality not speed. Manufacturers keep adding functions to cell phones. This in turn makes chips bigger. To keep the chip the same size you have to shrink the die size. So Intel has a huge advantage here. Manufactures who use Intel will be able to add a lot more functionality than those who don't. Going forward this will be more and more of an advantage as Intel takes its fabrication where ARM can't follow.
If you say that no one is adding functionality then you simply don't have any knowledge of cell phone developments.
Additionally, the processor market is large and getting larger. This idiocy about Intel not being able to sell state-of-the-art technology is just that. ARM customers who can't get 28nm would love to be able to get 22nm from Intel. At this point Intel has no reason to sell to them. Processors are going into more and more things every day. The internet and cloud aren't going away. More servers are needed every day. And the Internet of Things is just getting cranked up. Intel will have a role and market share in all of this. And they will constantly grow market share in mobility. Intel's huge advantage with its WiFi chip development will accentuate their moves into mobility.
Intel has prepared intensively for two years to eat ARM's lunch. Now it is starting to happen and the trend will increase dramatically in 2013. While the foundries were sitting on their thumbs Intel was building 22nm and 14nm capacity.
But here is what is really critical. Tablet and cell phone companies are working on designs that are one to three years out and having to make decisions about which processors to use. Those decisions are being made now. And these people are bright enough to see the danger in going with non-Intel chips. It means they won't be state-of-the-art where their competitors will.
What do you want to bet that some of these discussions aren't happening at this very moment? I'm thinking that's a major reason why Intel is so quiet these days. They are probably hammering out the agreements that will deliver up huge business to Intel based on 14nm technology. The only companies that will be on 14nm in 2014 will be those talking to Intel today. You think Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm and a host of other ARM shops don't know this? You think they are going to bet the survival of their companies on TSMC and 28nm production? Think again...