I may be an outlying case ...... but I have had a laptop since about 1990 and I though that was roughly when computers with side boxes (and floppy disk drives) disappeared.
The main change i have seen is that the laptop personal computer has become the notebook personal computer (amidst huge unit growth)...and now the notebook PC has become threatened by the desire for the tablet computer.
if we continued to lump notebook and tablet computers together the market ramp would probably look good. But when market analysts choose to divide the market between mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and PCs (notebooks and earlier manifestations)....it highlights the flat to down nature of the Wintel world and the up and to the right nature of Linux, Android and all things portable.
Where Intel has been falling behind is in Design - not Device manufacturing. This requires a top echelon ready to not just tweak legacy Architecturesw but make bold moves into competitive new Architectures, This is why Intel's choice for a CEO seems so counter - intuitive. At times like these management by consensus can be far more damaging than bold initiatives.
@chanj0: Your point about gaming is well taken. While many are playing on tablets, some of the most popular games, online ones with a social component, (at least in my house) still 'are best enjoyed' with the graphics card and audio capabilities of a PC. However, I also see many college students enjoying their games just fine on a laptop...
Certainly there is a huge market for smartphones and tablets. However, I'm not so certain it is due to people replacing PCs with smartphones. There simply are a lot of smartphone/tablet users who did not previously have a PC. Or where there was a shared household PC it has been supplemented with individual smartphoes/tablets due to lower cost of entry. There has been a huge gain in the actual number of computing devices being used and therefore hard to say how many tablets have "replaced" PCs.
Indeed, like you parents, many people are replacing a PC with a laptop/smartphone combination. But that laptop/ultrabook has a Core i5 or Core i7 and is essentially just a smaller, more portable PC. And so we see Intel's profit margin falling due to competition, but a key factor that seems to be being overlooked is that net revenue was up slightly. They sold just as many chips, if not more. They just didn't make as much money on them. If you consider the ultrabook just a more portable PC, then the PC era is still a long way from over.
BMC: Great analysis. Thank you for working the numbers. I concur it seems highly doubtful that Intel could pick up that kind of growth in the latter half of this year -- there just doesn't seem to be anything in the Western Hemisphere growing at that rate.
Daleste: That's a really good point. $2 bln isn't chump change. The question is can it be sustained and improved over the long term. We've seen big tech companies shrink to almost nothing and come back (Apple, ca. 1998) and we've seen others just shrink and shrink (Yahoo). But I tend to think Intel doesn't fall into either camp. I smell a spinoff coming up there, and maybe at HP, too.
Using Intel's guidance for 3Q13 at +5% and flat for the entire year, the company's 4Q/3Q growth this year needs to be +7%. Considering Intel's performance in the fourth quarter over the past three years, +3% in 2010, -2% in 2011, and 0% in 2012, this guidance looks very optimistic!
Zero sum game is a very interesting thought of the tablet and pc market. If it is indeed true or just close to the reality, what will Intel do?
The fact is the powerful the CPU is; the fewer servers will be used. Today webserver can server way more connections than those used 10, 15 years ago. Virtualization certanly is one of the biggest contributors to the fall of sales.
Gaming is used to being one of the driving force of an upgrade. With the popularity of mobile gaming (tablet and smartphone), I can see hi-end games get hitted. The trend of game has been changing as well that game with social networking content trends to gain more attention than the "old-fashion" shooting game or RPG.
With all these factors in place, the fall of revenue and profit seem to be inevitable. There seems to be a while for CPU market to come back. In the meantime, what will Intel do?
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.