Across the tech blogosphere this week, one comparison after the next has been made between Intel and Mark Twain. When you think about it, Twain’s iconic utterance of defiance could also apply to Intel these days. That is, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Although Intel has lost some luster – and some of its preeminence – in the post PC-era, Intel is still around. And based on its expressed agenda at CES 2013, company leaders aren’t about to say that their best days are behind them.
Following Intel CEO Paul Otellini’s detailed showcase of the latest smartphones with Intel chips, the strategy was clear for all to see. The developing world and emerging mobile markets of Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America will soon have Intel inside.
Intel is really excited about its new value segment phone, a company rep explained to me on the floor of CES this week in Las Vegas. “The processor is Atom Z2420,” he added. “It has a dual SIM, dual standby, FM radio, and still inherits a lot of these high end performance smartphone capabilities. So no compromise in that value sector.”
Intel mobile chief Mike Bell agrees, stating at CES that customers in emerging markets “shouldn’t have to settle for a substandard smartphone experience. [The Z2420 is] a new smartphone platform that gets us into the value segment.”
OEMs backing the effort include Acer, Lava, and Safaricom.
Oddly enough, Android appears to be the sole focus of Intel’s smartphone strategy – peculiar for a company with a long and cozy relationship with Microsoft. Nonetheless, Intel didn’t slam the door on potentially embracing Windows for their smartphones. But the company also didn’t raise the prospect either.
Nonetheless, it was clear from Intel’s expressed aims at CES that the tech superpower is taking a solid swing at mobile in new markets ripe for exploitation. While Intel knows the move won’t be without growing pains, the company also realizes that its best bet is to go mobile in 2013. The company even just released a new infographic (see below) highlighting what it deems the Top “Big Bets” for 2013. Not surprisingly, mobile is written all over it.
So, the question begs to be asked: will Intel succeed in the smartphone space across the developing world?
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