Intel has been actively seeking a foothold in the mobile market, but as a chipmaker, it has faced stiff competition. The semiconductor manufacturer had led the world in chip sales for personal computers, but with the slide of the PC market comes new challenges for the company. Rivals like Qualcomm – dominating mobile chip tech sales thus far, and the developments of other processor makers including Advanced Micro Devices, which is developing microprocessing units for the “smart device” industry — present obstacles to Intel’s mobile success. (The company has gone so far to acknowledge that it will not supply LTE-capable processors until 2014.) Making moves in recent months to appeal to mobile players – partnering with China’s Baidu, for example, to work with Chinese software makers – has set Intel on a definitive but tenuous path towards the mobile market. But, finally, it appears as though a breakthrough arrives for the chipmaker, and it’s coming from Samsung.
Samsung will use Intel chips in its Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 – the company’s next version of its flagship tablet. Intel’s Clover Trail+ mobile chip is the choice processor, and will join Intel’s other hardware inside Samsung’s less-popular line of ATIV tablets running Microsoft Windows. To have its chip featured in such a mainstream device could be Intel’s much sought-after opportunity to solidify its presence in the mobile market. And the timing could not be better.
The International Data Corporation reported on May 28 that the number of PC shipments in 2013 is expected to more rapidly tumble than previously thought – reiterated by venture capitalist Mary Meeker in her annual Internet Trends Year-End Report this week. The research group pointed to the sharp rise in tablet sales as the culprit responsible for desktop and laptop lags. Gaining a spot in Samsung’s popular tablet devices will provide Intel the vital slot in the tablet market that is projected to soar beyond the PC market this year. The news is also a huge win for the company’s newly-appointed CEO, Brian Krzanich, who publicly gave his vow to successfully launch Intel into new mobile territories.
Even as Intel makes inroads into the tablet scene, reports detail its foray into another market gaining traction: the internet of things. Forecasted to be a $4 trillion market by 2020, the machine-to-machine technology sector is growing past its infancy, and chipmakers look towards the future of the smart device and wearable technology. It’s possible Intel has learned from its mistake in not abiding by the quick adoption of mobile technologies, and will begin the next chapter of processor manufacturing for everything from the smart home to the smart toothbrush.