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Burgeoning Tablet, Smartphone Markets Benefit, Challenge Intel

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 01-14-2011 Print
Intel has yet to play a major role in the exploding tablet and smartphone spaces, but the Web traffic generated by these devices is fueling strong growth in its enterprise server business.

Intel is yet to be much of a player in the booming tablet and smartphone spaces, a concern for industry observers in the long term. However, for now the burgeoning markets are helping drive demand in some of Intel's traditional businesses, and company executives continue to promise a strong presence in both device segments as 2011 rolls on.

During a Jan. 13 conference call with analysts and journalists announcing the chip maker's record fourth-quarter and full-year numbers, CEO Paul Otellini said Intel will become a much larger player in both tablets and smartphones. In tablets, Otellini said he expects a host of Intel-powered devices to hit the market this year.

A key differentiator for Intel over rivals who use ARM or MIPS designs is that Intel's Atom platform can run Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, Google's Android and MeeGo, jointly developed by Intel and Nokia.

"By designing Atom-based tablets, [OEMs] have the opportunity to run multiple operating systems on it, which I think is unique to Intel," he said.

Otellini also reiterated that he expects smartphone designs powered by Intel technology to hit the markets this year.

Intel had a record fourth quarter that topped off a very strong 2010 that saw it bounce back from the global recession thanks in large part to its enterprise business, which helped buffer it against weakening consumer PC demand. In the fourth quarter, revenue came in at $11.5 billion -- up 8 percent over the same period in 2009 -- with net income hitting $3.4 billion, a 48 percent jump.

For more, read the eWeek article: Intel Sees Benefits, Challenges in Tablets, Smartphones.


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