At a conference call on Tuesday, Intel Chief Executive Officer Otellini said, “In terms of Intel participating in the tablet market we remain very optimistic about this. We feel pretty good about our opportunity to participate in the growth as it happens.”
Intel has had an excellent quarter so far with considerable increase in its earnings. However, with the iPad rewriting sales records and with analysts predicting a big shift of consumer preference towards tablet devices, it is just too big a segment for someone of the stature of Intel to give it a miss. In fact, with almost every other company coming up with tablet devices, Intel too is considering a tryst with tablet PCs.
Intel has already announced its firm intentions to make it big in the tablet segment and has drawn up plans to increase its share in the ARM-dominated tablet market. And for this, they are banking on the latest Atom-based SoC platform codenamed “Oak Trail.”
Patrick Wang, who is an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities says, “They have the Oak Trail chip that they’ve already started to sample and will begin to ship early next year. You will see a lot of product launches based on this chip. It’s a system-on-a-chip and it’s compatible with x56. This means you will be able to run it on all types of operating system.”
According to him what Intel requires right away is that the Oak Tail Chip should be able to sustain work up to 8- 10 hours or more on a single full charge.
Initial reports does look optimistic in this aspect with Intel VP Mooly Eden confirming the new platform has been optimized for “sleek” tablets that would offer an almost 50 percent reduction in power consumption on average in comparison to the previous generation of Atom processors.
Otellini on the other hand is not of the opinion that tablets can ever replace netbook market. He states “I think this is an additive category of computing, much like netbooks were an additive category. I don’t see tablets cannibalizing the PC market.”
Another analyst by name Brendan Furlong, opines that Intel would always have an upper hand in the market with its PC and laptop even if tablets do make any mark in the market. He states “Outside of Apple, anyone that’s building a tablet like device will need to use a processor. If the tablet market takes off, even if it cannibalizes the netbook market, it’s not a negative for Intel, it’s a positive. Where is HP and Dell going to go? They will have to get a processor.”
There is however cause for concern to Intel in case iPad continues its domination in the market as per both analysts Furlong and Wang. “The potential negative is that if the iPad cannibalizes notebooks/netbooks alone, and no one gets a decent slate out, that is trouble for Intel. I find that highly unlikely. I think HP, Dell, Acer will all come out with competitive tablet computers,” as stated by Furlong.
The Oak Trail chip supports 1080p full HD-video, as well as a number of operating systems, which includes MeeGo, Microsoft Windows 7 and Google Android.
Intel had already showcased quite a few tablet devices at the Computex 2010 and by initial estimates, the gadgets did look impressive.