The only good news out of this piece is the projection of $600 Ultrabooks price point. Hopefully the adaptation of the ultrabooks will give the pcmarket a boost and in some way create the level of demand that will drive the job creation badly needed during these times.
I agree. If I recall correctly, Otellini about a year ago was saying that $699 would be the mainstream price point. Now that they are talking $599 and even $499 for some models, I think this could have much more widespread appeal.
I expected Q1 to be a slow season. This shouldn't be a big surprise. Q1 is historically a slow season. But with current trend such as smart phones and tablets, PC sales may continue to be a big problem. How will Intel be able to counteract? Will offering more foundry service be a solution for Intel?
I feel that this is an inflection point for both Intel and Microsoft. The will either adapt like IBM did, or get destroyed like Kodak. Intel has a very high cost business model that can only be supported by high-ASP parts. The ARM-based SOCs being producted by Samsung and Nvidia have tiny ASP compared to x86 CPUs. Even if Intel destroys the competition in this arena, it would be a pyrric victory, since they would lose money on each chip.
You do not seem to understand the semiconductor business model. The ASP means very little. It is revenue per wafer and profit per wafer what counts. Intel being ahead of everyone in process technology by at least one generation is well positioned to thrive in the coming years. Their Atom based SOC-s are more then a match to ARM based SOC-s and their advantage will grow in the coming years.
After a 20% price increase, a Samsung A6 processor costs $17.50 to Apple, die size 95.04mm2. The Intel Ivy Bridge-M-2 is 94mm2, and costs between $64 and $138. Your sweeping and dismissive comments are sad.
This comment is made as if only one semiconductor business model exist. Intel model different from Qalcomm, different from AMD, different from TSMC. The strong argument is that Intel's unique business model is not effective in the post-PC mobile area.
Revenue per wafer is directly related to ASP. I don't see how Intel could manage low margin based on their business model. Although Intel is one generation ahead, TSMC and Samsung are catching up fast. I think Intel is doomed. It's high expenditure fab will kill itself in long term.
I wonder if you are among many of whom predicted the decline of Intel during the rise of AMD on 2005ish. Just don't accuse Intel of monopoly when Samsung and Nvidia get left behind by Intel this time around.
Thinking the Intel model requires high-ASP is a flawed assumption. It is supported by high margins. This is where the process line-size lead that Intel has allows them to compete at lower ASPs, because their cost is significantly lower than their competition's.
When they announced the S-1200 microserver processor last fall, they went to great pains to emphasize that they actually make MORE money on a rack full of the smaller, lower-ASP chips.
I should have said gross margin instead of ASP, although we are kind of quibbling semantics here. Intel supports huge design, process development, test, marketing, and legal costs. There is NO WAY they can support these costs with the gross margin of an ARM vendor. Why is there such aggressive denial of the financial reality? I want Intel to survive, but I can see the way this story is headed.
I do not agree that the difference between gross margin and ASP is "semantics". As far as whether Intel will be able to compete successfully against ARM vendors: we shall see. Whatever you want to believe about Intel and its people they are not exactly dumb and see the same market shifts as you see. So far Intel managed to not only survive but thrive over market inflections, and they have been thorough many of them over the past decades. I certainly would not bet against Intel.
As we seem to be rapidly approaching the point where the microprocessor architecture no longer matters (except for maximum efficiency), maybe it's time for Intel to start over with a clean sheet approach to a new, non X86, non ARM, microprocessor. Maybe they could inlist Apple as a partner since Apple could use some hardware differentiation as well, to form the start of a new duoply for both personal computers and especially mobile devices.
In my opinion, MSFT killed the PC market with Vista, then recovered with Win7, now killed it again with Win8. I was going to buy a laptop last xmas season, but could not find a new one without Win8. I finally found an old stock computer with Win7. There should be a non-touch screen alternative setup put into Win8. Call me obstructionist, but I find it a waste of time, unnecessarily having to learn something new that doesn't add to my productivity. Microsoft - you screwed up!
People who say that Win8 should not have removed "Start" button and should not have offered touch screen are probably of old age, or with mindset and fingers stuck at certain mode. How sad! These are the people who refuses to grow.
The increasing popularity of tablets is clearly the dominant factor in the decline of PC sales, but I have to wonder if the release of Win8 didn't accelerate that decline.
Whether the Win8 critics are right or wrong or of old age or of a certain mindset doesn't change the fact that Win8 is not a big winner with desktop PC & notebook customers.
I think lack of innovation is killing the PC. While hardware keeps incrementally improving, software to take advantage of this microproessor power is lagging. Software resources are being diverted to apps for smartphones and tablets.
Intel's problems are a result of being largely tied to and identified with the PC market, and the PC market is withering.
I think the decline of the PC is largely inevitable, and don't really blame tablets. The market is saturated, and pretty much everyone who can use a PC likely has one. While there's a substantial market, it's for upgrades and replacements, not new sales. The financial markets like growth, and that market isn't growing.
I don't really see Ultrabooks becoming hugely successful. They fall into the upgrade and replacement category. If you buy an Ultrabook, you are probably replacing and existing laptop, notebook, or netbook with a faster and more powerful device.
I'm not counting Intel out. They have enormous resources and a huge technology portfolio. Their challenge is successfully competing in markets other than the PC, and their biggest current problem is addressing the perceived advantage in power efficiency held by ARM.