It's way too late for cell phones. In a Platform driven design world you need to be in the market in the beginning or you'll never catch up.
One "new" market they should be looking at is the heterogeneous server market. Homogeneous computing could soon become a niche market. - Gary
Hubris is the right word to describe Intel failure to enter the smartphones/tablets/TV area.
As an Intel employee in the past, I was shocked by the over conservative approach they take.
I beleive that it is deep in their DNA, and it will not be changed soon.
If corporations can be attributed personal triat, I would describe Intel as a bully that won't go away from the sandbox despite all other kids playing fair and cooperatively with each other. The odd-ball kid keeps trying to make his-game/his-rules for the sandbox while others have a game of their own.
I'm not at all knocking "fashion". Some of that is just purely non-functional aesthetics that will change from year to year (like curves vs square corners). Some of it is just looking cool and the associated marketing to build a brand. Some is also about improving easy of use. Nome of these are quantitatively measured.
Chipsets, however, can be chosen by a pure numbers game. Cost, cost of support circuitry, battery life, ...
Why all Intel? AMD ushered in the 64-bit x86 instruction set that saved us from the Itanium. Then the accountants pushed to have "Intel Inside", but the Intel marketing tactics were not very clean, as per fines and payments made to AMD for harmful practices. What Intel did do was to unite the desktop and free us from the likes of Wang, Burroughs, IBM, DEC, HP and a host of other over-priced hardware vendors. The price of a server at $2000 and a chip at $200 is a 10:1 ratio, so ARM is not really going to reduce prices much, even if the chip is $20. There are also too many ARM derivatives to track, and which of the 100 plus vendors is going to be able to create a standard that others will buy into? Hopefully the 64-bit ARM will converge the high-end but they have a long way to catch up to MIPS folks like NetLogic or Cavium.
What is implied by "fashion"? I think Apple has tried to make their products appeal more from a human aspect. While engineers want a product with the fastest processor and the biggest memory, the rest of the world wants a product with a little bit of style and class, and Apple has provided it.
As some have already pointed out, getting into smartphones requires certain specialized skills in packaging and "design," that perhaps Intel doesn't have a history of fostering. But the "connected TV" part, I find that whole scene baffling.
For the record, I watch MOST of my TV through an Intel chips, these days. In fact, an Intel-based PC sits on the equipment shelf, along with preamp, amp, PVR, radio tuner, and the rest. So why anyone would think Intel can't play in this game, I haven't a clue.
But there's more. Why did Intel need Google to begin with? What's so hard about creating a well-integrated, Web-enabled TV set, that simply uses the Web? Who needs these third parties? And/or, who needs to limit the user to a tiny number of pre-selected web sites, as most of these connected TVs and DVD players are?
It seems to me that TV manufacturers could work with Intel to create an easy-to-use connected TV, one that can browse the web as flexibly as any PC. At most, you fine-tune the way a remote mouse would look and function, and the way the "favorites" (or "bookmarks") are created and displayed, to make the user experience when channel surfing more "TV-like." Simple.
As to broadcasters, i.e. the local TV stations themselves, they can continue to create their local content, but they would have to make it available on the Web. However the bulk of TV viewing is not going to be local broadcaster content, just as it isn't now. The bulk comes from the major networks. There isn't much "blocking" broadcasters can do here. The major networks bypass local broadcasters, when they offer their content on the Web.
That's what baffles me. I read these tales of woe, but they seem unnecessary fabrications.