After missing the early days of the smartphone revolution, Intel spent in excess of $10 billion over the last three years in an effort to get a foothold in mobile devices.
Now, having gained little ground in phones and with the tablet market shrinking, Intel is essentially throwing in the towel. The company quietly confirmed last week that it has axed several chips from its roadmap, including all of the smartphone processors in its current plans.
This isn’t the first time Intel tried to go mobile. It actually had quite a successful line of mobile ARM processors: XScale. These were ARM5 processors that powered a ton of devices, and I think most of us know it from Windows PocketPC devices (and later Palm OS devices). Intel eventually sold XScale to Marvell, because the company wanted to focus on its desktop/laptop and server processors, in 2006 – right before the big mobile revolution happened.
I can’t help but wonder if that turned out to be a really dumb move.
I assume Itanium is in the cross-hairs at Intel, and I look forward to seeing how long it takes them to figure out a way to extract themselves from their contracts with the likes of HP.