Intel exits smartphone processor race - Mobile World Live

Intel exits smartphone processor race

03 MAY 2016

Intel ended efforts to build its business in the mobile market, following a broad restructure in which it will look to focus on future growth markets.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company will drop its SoFIA integrated modem/processor packages – an important component in the battle for smartphone success – as well as a version of its Atom processor targeting tablet computers.

It has already been widely detailed that the company missed the smartphone boat, as rivals including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Texas Instruments (in the early days), Apple and Samsung found customer deals.

And Intel has racked-up significant losses from its mobile activities, although these were masked when the unit was integrated into the Client Computing Group rather than reported separately.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Asus, one of the few active supporters of Intel in the mobile phone market, was set to cut its orders due to delays with the 4G SoFIA packages. Qualcomm and MediaTek were mooted as beneficiaries.

The issue for Intel is that with its PC business no longer the shining star it once was, it has failed to capitalise on growth in the smartphone space to offset this. Now it has called an end to this work, in favour of the next wave of growth – such as IoT opportunities.

The company has also put 5G connectivity high on its list of priorities, “because of our technological strength to deliver end-to-end 5G systems, from modems to base stations to all the various forms of connectivity that exist today and will exist tomorrow”.

Intel is looking to cut 12,000 positions – around 11 per cent of its employees – as part of its refocus.

Bloomberg also reported that Aicha Evans, general manager of the Communications and Devices group at Intel, is set to stay with the company following earlier reports of her departure.

Evans had a high-profile role at Mobile World Congress this year, talking up Intel’s IoT efforts.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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