Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Intel Q1 '13 - the pre-cursor of things to come

In spite of a dramatic 14% slow down in the PC market, Intel results came in on track. More importantly is their commentary on what's coming:

"Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "We shipped our next generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors early this quarter. We are working with our customers to introduce innovative new products across multiple operating systems. The transition to 14nm technology this year will significantly increase the value provided by Intel architecture and process technology for our customers and in the marketplace."

With the arrival of Centerton for micro servers, Haswell for notebooks and desktops and Clovertrail + for phones - Intel is about to unleash a tidal wave of new products that are going to make them fiercely more competitive. Couple that with 14nm which puts them so far ahead of the other semiconductor manufacturers and they are on a trajectory that is going to make them an unreal phenomenon.

Follow that up with Baytrail for tablets later this year and they will have delivered a knock out punch to every one of their competitors. AMD is already talking about moving to ARM. Leaving Intel the sole contendor in the X86 business. Which makes their core business around PCs unassailable. And with RT looking like it's dying a quick and painful death, Microsoft will have to consider re-aligning themselves back to Intel. While Intel with their support for both Windows and Android will be sitting pretty.

Looks like while everyone else was playing checkers, Intel was playing chess!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dual Core Intel Clovertrail + crushes the Galaxy S IV's a nugget. The upcoming Lenovo K900 featuring the Intel Clovertrail + dual core CPU takes down the to be launched Samsung Galaxy S IV running a quad core ARM CPU.

For those of you who thought Intel didn't have the architecture to compete in the phone business...think again. They're just getting started. And when Merrifield arrives it's going to be very hard for the OEMs to resist building phones on Intel sillicon.

Couple that with the launch of Bay Trail for tablets this year and things are about to get very interesting for the ARM players. I anticipate by the time we exit 2014 Intel will have gone from 0 to double digit share in tablets and and at least 5-10% of the smartphone market.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Apple apologizes in China - getting ready for a world of low cost iPhones?

After being hounded by the Chinese media for discriminatory consumer practices in China, Tim Cook today apologized to the people of China.

Tim Cook apologizes to China

You gotta wonder why such a mighty giant whose guiding principle has been "consumers don't know what they want - Apple needs to tell them" is kowtowing to the People's Republic of China.

I tell you simply, they are running out of steam in the US and Western Europe and are looking to the next frontier...China.
But here's the rub. The entry level iPhone 5 in China is 850 USD.
And to succeed in China you cannot do it with one model starting at 850$.

Which is why why Samsung is #1 in China followed by Lenovo. Both have a range of smartphones but more importantly - can get into the volume market at 200-300$ smartphones.

So Apple is going to have to bring in a low cost iPhone if they want to win in China.
And that is going to hit their margins.

But clearly Tim Cook understands the need to bow before the largest consumer population in the world. Because if they don't take a bite of his apple - he's getting thrown out of the Garden of Eden.