Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Is that the Internet in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Intel today finally rolled out its Atom chip family at IDF Shanghai. This is the same chip family previously ballyhooed at IDF in San Francisco last year. Having never had a chip that could get them into cell phones, Intel is looking to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) to deliver a better Internet browsing experience than you can currently get on handsets. Can’t crack a market? Create a new one.

Atom is a good generation away from being able to deliver the same power profile, not to mention the performance, of an ARM Coretex-A8—and that’s if ARM stands still. While not doubting Intel’s engineering chops, it’s far from clear that consumers will be willing to pay $500 for yet another portable gadget to stuff into their pockets along with their cell phones and iPods. They don’t even need iPods anymore—the iPhone is an iPod with a great screen that can also make phone calls. And cruise the web nicely, thank you.

It makes sense that Intel would roll out Atom in China, a hot market for mobile devices and the only one that ARM and its licensees doesn’t entirely own. Good luck with the margin, guys.

[OK, I’ll lay off the MID after this post]

1 comment:

RRohleder said...

Re: Mobile Internet Devices -- See previously failed strategy, Internet Appliances. "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." (Faulkner)