SAN FRANCISCO—Executives from Intel Corp. said Thursday (Jan. 17) they expect the company to grow sales modestly in 2013 as the company benefits from blurring lines between notebook PCs and tablets and customers design products around new Intel chips.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) reported fourth quarter sales in line with analysts' expectations, but the company's profit for the quarter fell short of estimates. Intel also forecast that sales would decline 7 to 9 percent in the first quarter, a decrease that company executives described as in line with seasonal norms.
Paul Otellini, Intel's president and CEO, told a group of analysts on a conference call following Intel's financial report that he was excited by new tablet form factors and tablet-notebook convertibles at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
"At CES last week, I was struck by our industry's renewed inventiveness," Otellini said. "PC manufacturers are embracing innovation as we are in the midst of a radical transformation of the computing experience with the blurring of form factors and the adoption of new user interfaces. It's no longer necessary to choose between a PC and a tablet."
Otellini acknowledged that Intel's core PC processor business was hurt in 2012, when PC sales declined in large measure because consumers chose tablets instead. But Intel hopes to catch a bigger piece of the tablet wave in 2013, and the company is actively pushing its Ultrabook concept for low power, ultrathin notebook PCs.
Over the past 12 months, Otellini said, Intel was worked with partners to increase the number of Ultrabooks on the market from roughly 20 to more than 140. Currently, 10 tablets built around the Clover Trail version of Intel's Atom processor are shipping, with several more expected in coming months, he said.
Otellini said he was excited about the portfolio of products that Intel plans to market in 2013. The company plans to launch its first Haswell processor in the first half of the year, which promises major improvements over Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture for form battery life and usability.
Intel also plans to bring to market 22-nm versions of its Xeon and Atom products from the data center and deliver the first 22-nm tablet and smartphone SoCs to customers. Intel also plans to start building the industry's first 14-nm chips toward the end of this year, Otellini said.
Otellini said Intel was well positioned to take advantage of trends in computing in a period of "transition and hyper-innovation."