I did not get a feeling at IDF that Intel is in the vanguard of Android,
and Microsoft is certainly not leading the way in mobile software.
Intel has its work cut out for itself navigating it’s way to a strong
The good news is, it is still at the center of
the PC and what people loosely call cloud computing. Jim Pappas, one of
the guys who drove PCI and USB, enthusiastically
told me about how flash memory will change the programming model of
the compute infrastructure, a model Intel aims to author—if all goes
well with the post-NAND generation.
Meanwhile, Apple’s stock is
rising on little more than the design of what amounts to a single,
me-too phone. The iPhone 5 catches up with what its rivals have been
delivering for a year—LTE, bigger displays, better media, smaller
components like docking connectors.
It’s a great business model:
Design one decent, but not bleeding-edge smartphone, tablet and notebook
a year. Give consumers something that’s arguably cool and useful, and
avoid the risks of bleeding edge technology.
Apple too could run
aground, as Van Baker of Gartner pointed out to me in a chat at IDF. If
it misses just once on one of its big annual product cycles, it could
be hosed—losing a year of revenue, profits and panache as the company
that sets mobile fashions. The risks are pretty big given the
complexities in the software stack, the semiconductor and systems design
chains and just plain human enterprise at this scale. Tim Cook, no
doubt, buys Maalox by the case.
At the end of the day, it was
humbling—and just a bit frightening--to see these giant cruise ships
pass so closely as they sailed down San Francisco’s Howard Street.
There is a huge differences between Apple and Intel. Intel selling chips to the box manufacturing while Apple selling directly to the consumers.
The great thing about Apple is the total package of beautiful hardware and software all encompass in one unit.
Intel has the best technology, but this is apparently not good enough, and has a big, big NIH. look at INTC for the last 10 years and then look at AAPL for the last ten years. I rest my case.
Did not realize Dave Ditzel ended up at Intel. I wonder if he is doing any of the code-morphing stuff he pioneered at Transmeta. In retrospect that technology was ahead of its time - and I hear there are new designs underway that are attempting it again.
Intel's deep pipeline of designs is scary but does that also make it harder for them to adopt to quickly changing trends.
Good to hear a reporter not go gaga over Apple's every launch anc call out the iphone5 for what it truly is - a me too phone!
Apple is playing to its strength which is still "visualizing synergistic systems and zen minimalism ". Samsung on the other hand seems to have consciously or sub-consciously gravitated towards leveraging their strength, namely comprehensive in-house technological capabilities ranging from transistors to chips and displays to systems and high volume manufacturng. Samsung can afford to build 50 models. Apple can't.
Okay George, here is my comment to Rick's article that was lost...
Rick, I enjoyed reading your view of the mobile technology landscape. The community benefits by having good reporting at the nexus of Apple and Intel who will continue to shape a lot of the computing experience for ordinary people and techies alike.
I think it's unlikely that Apple will miss on any of its big annual product cycles for that very reason. It keeps focus on a few products and the organization can make darn sure they don't miss. The alternative is never-ending product introductions and just hoping to get traction with one or two.
I think the shotgun is fine for some. It's the right tool if your aim isn't great, but you don't give a shotgun to a sniper.
The contrast between IDF and the iPhone 5 release was night and day. I stepped out of IDF and walked half a block to where the new iPhone was being introduced, just to see if I could get anything from the crowd or the analysts as they emerged. I'm well aware of the hysteria surrounding the cult of Apple and its products, but even I was taken aback. There were of course TV trucks, with live shots and live interviews being done right on the sidewalk. But what really blew me away were the dozens of seemingly regular people that thronged to the event, just to wait outside and snap some photos. Students, tech junkies, and even some people who showed up with their kids. Why? Most of those I talked to said they just wanted to be there because something big was happening. A cultural event.
It's amazing to me. All of this for a new model of a phone that, when you get right down to it, isn't THAT different from the previous version. If only every company could tap into this kind of momentum around its products...
Meanwhile, IDF was a first rate technology conference, heavy on the glitz, glamor and marketing. But with nowhere near the same vibe.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.