1. The data suggests PC sales are stabilizing and may even see some growth later in the year
2. Intel is producing great gross margins
3. They're achieving their strategic goals in tablets. From virtually nothing to 40M or better in 2014.
4. Their product lineup looks very strong
5. Windows is now free on devices with 9" screens and smaller
6. Windows 8.1 is becoming desktop & mouse friendly again
Intel's most important goal is to make their products desirable. They've done that, especially in tablets. The ATOM based 2-1s are phenomenally popular. Now they need to do the same with smartphones and they need to get their new cost-reduced parts to the marketplace to eliminate contra. There is little doubt in Intel's ability to do this and this is the reason investor sentiment is changing for Intel for the positive.
One of the great benefits of Bay Trail tablets has been to show the buying public that Intel-based tablets and hybrids perform very well and bring a lot of value to the consumer. Anyone that has used one of the new Windows tablets or 2-1's know how productive and compelling these devices are. These devices are fast, responsive, have great battery life and being able to run full Windows is unmatched by anything in the ARM world.
While Intel longs aren't happy with contra revenue most understand that being a leader in tablet technology is a strategic imperative for the company. In this respect the company should spend what they need to spend to make it happen. However, owning McAffee is not a strategic imperative and investors aren't rewarding Intel for anything McAfee does or is likely to do. Intel should sell McAffee to help fund the ongoing investment in mobile and IoT.
It means Q1 is the inflection point for Intel's future and the momentum continues to build through this year and next. It also means Intel can execute to plan, sell lots of Atoms for tablets, cover the contra revenue and still make fantastic margins. Imagine what the margins will be when the contra revenue stops.
That's for sure. Android tablets don't even give the buyer administrative rights to their own device. Google keeps that for themselves. That is really lame. Can't even install a lot of the good security apps because of this limitation.
Windows tablets, like PCs, give the user complete control and a far greater application ecosystem with everything for work, leisure and in-between. And these things are really affordable today.
Investors have already been exiting and will continue to do so. Additionally Russian firms whose shares are traded in major international markets (particularly those in the US) will likely de-list from those exchanges to prevent having some of their assets frozen. Together this creates a heap of downward pressure.
One of the big questions is how many Intel-based tablets & hybrids sold in Q1. This was the first quarter that Bay Trail was available an entire quarter. Even though Q1 is seasonally the slowest quarter of the year it is likely the growth in this area will exceed seasonal norms.
Unclear if they will be that cheap but Intel-based tablets will definitely be competitive. And full Windows tablets can run Android apps with one of several free tools even if the device isn't dual boot. At these prices the logic of buying a tablet that is limited to Android-only is not very compelling.
A $51 subsidy per tablet? That's great news for consumers. They should go out and buy several while it lasts.
For AE the glass is nearly always half-empty as far as Intel is concerned. And I agree, the titles usually give it away. They have that "penny per click" tabloid feel to them.
It's my understanding that everyone can buy at the price shown. I believe the Prime logo means the sale qualifies for the free two-day shipping all Prime members get. Non Prime members may pay shipping if they want it fast, or pay no shipping to receive it in 5-8 days. At least that's been my experience.
Everyone familiar with this product knows that for several months this product was selling for a price far greater than its MSRP. Just recently the Amazon price dropped to $379. Probably to make way for updated models in Q2 Amazon is showing a price today for $349.
Those that purchased at $379 recently may want to review the terms and date of their Amazon purchase because they may quality for a rebate. Good luck.
The history is quite different than your characterization. The world know that because of Intel the public was able to buy PC's with twice the performance roughly every other year for the same cost, or buy a PC with the same performance for roughly half the cost? And they've done this for nearly three decades. What other company, or industry for that matter can make such a claim?
That being said the work atmosphere can be highly competitive and confrontational. They also press employees, contractors and OEMs very hard. Some can survive it and some can't. Clearly you have issues.
Wearable computers and live TV have nothing in common. Live TV is a highly regulated monopoly industry with decades of built-in barriers to entry and competitive advantage for incumbents. The wearable market is limited only by device maker's imagination and innovation.
It's easy to talk about 'one Windows development environment" but the version of Windows consumers want to buy is the real one that runs all their x86 software. It's insane to spend money on good hardware for it to be limited only by the software loaded on it. The success of the Asus T100 shows what people want and they want it all - not some pretend Windows wannabe and they want it to be affordable.
This is even more true now that x86 Windows is free to OEM's for devices with screens 9" or smaller and more true still considering the new Windows 8.1 can run in 1GB RAM & 16GB storage.
Everyone watching Intel over the past two years has witnessed constant doom & gloom about Intel's prospects and the naysayers spew out threats from Windows RT, to multiple ARM server projects that have come and gone, and of course the lack of Intel's success in tablets and smartphones.
What is very clear today is Intel perseverance is paying off and the overall tone from analysts and market researchers is changing as well. There are just too many positive forces building for Intel for analysts to ignore. Instead of "will Intel ever be in tablets" it's now "how much tablet market-share will Intel take?" The rhetoric for smartphones will follow the same pattern but further down the road.
The overall change in attitude seems long overdue for anyone that understands the business but it does show that even analysts & researchers can get right if the message is so overwhelming and so voluminous that it becomes impossible to ignore.
I'm simply saying with respect to Unix, Linux and real-time Intel can do everything ARM can do. For those that want to leverage the huge ecosystem of Windows expertise and tools they can do that too. In this respect, the Intel platform gives product developers more options even if they never use the performance scalability advantage.
If you remove the ARM and substitute Intel it also has a very mature and robust Unix/Linux developer ecosystem including for mission critical real-time systems.
There are many industrial devices, cash registers etc that have been using Windows for years. The reason they use them is different than why consumers use them. Industrial equipment makers use it because the software is mature, it works great, there are millions of experienced developers for the platform and the hardware is feature-rich, affordable and available to scale to whatever performance is needed.
These are the same attributes IoT makers will look for when they build their devices.
The update is definitely a step in the right direction but I still have an issue with Microsoft's basic assumption that we should "search" for the apps we want. Nearly everyone can click a mouse to launch an app in a real Start Menu faster than they can move their hands off the mouse to type in the name of an app. In addition anyone that cares about privacy doesn't want to share every search they do with Microsoft or anyone else.
Apart from the Store icon being pinned to the Task Bar (really? no one was asking for this) most of the changes are improvements but Microsoft needs to follow up with the desktop Start Menu asap.
The benefit of this accomplishment isn't yet appreciated. This brings decades of Windows developer expertise and tools to an entirely new Intel SoC no larger than a pencil eraser. Intel's performance scalability from the eraser-sized Quark to high-end enterprise servers is unparalleled and the software for all of these can be developed using the same talent & tools. There is nothing like this in the ARM world.