Almost everyone has heard of the American chip-maker Intel at some point or other, and the company is a household name within the world of computers. What you may not know, however, is the fact that Intel are attempting to make their way into the smartphone and tablet industries, and have been for some time, with relatively little success thus far.
Intel’s lack of success in this field can be explained quite simply; a large majority of smartphones currently on the market choose to use chips produced by ARM instead. One major factor in this decision is that ARM technology is more pliable, allowing mobile phone manufacturers to design and customise chips in order to adhere to their own needs and requirements. For example, like all Apple creations, the iPhone and iPad uses ARM chips for the sole reason that they can be adapted to suit Apple’s own devices.
Another reason why phone manufactures tend to favour ARM chip-sets is because at present, Intel processors do not support LTE technology, which has deterred many companies whose products are intended to be 4G compatible. Though Intel is said to be working on this, the lack of the most up-to-date technology simply increases the likelihood of manufacturers choosing to use ARM processors instead.
At a meeting between Intel and Silicon Valley, the home of America’s high tech industries, at the CES this week, it emerged that Intel had made progress in the last year, releasing six phones and ten tablets which used their own chip-sets. However, when you consider just how many smartphones and tablets were released in 2012, these figures are still quite low, demonstrating that Intel have made a minimal impact on the smartphone market.
Furthermore, the American company is currently not offering an Intel-based mobile phone in the US, which is surely one of their biggest potential markets. Whilst Intel are still the dominant processor behind most PCs and laptop computers, it would appear that breaking into the smartphone and tablet market has proved harder to do. With the odds stacked against them, it still seems unlikely that the biggest smartphone manufacturers, that’s to say Apple and Samsung, amongst others, will adopt Intel chip-sets any time this year.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel