Intel and the Internet of Things

By Carl Ford November 21, 2012

I know the stock market is supposedly efficient, but sometimes the knee jerks make me wonder. Intel’s quarterly report was a sea of red oceans with a lot of “flat” growth and revised expectations. Jim Cramer on CNBC recently spoke of the issues between Apple and Intel. Intel’s Infineon acquisition seems to have done little good in bringing the company into the ARMed camp of chip makers.

Yet, Intel does something that very few companies in wireless do. They support their partners! 

Remember “Intel Inside?” 

Now if you go to Intel’s website “Inspired by Intel” it shows a host of ultrabooks positioned to regain the tablet market.

Now let’s look at the mobile landscape. We can make the case that Google with Android, has taken the partner role, but Google does not support its partners in the same way. 

I can hear my friends claim foul, because there is a big difference between software support and hardware support (even though Steve and Woz would differ). But fundamentally this is about gathering resources and delivering on economies of scale; which brings us to why I brought up Intel in my M2M article in the first place.

Intel is gathering resources in the M2M space in a lot of interesting solutions. The company’s traditional partners like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. are not there yet. And clearly they are also having a hard time in the stock market.

However, Intel is solidifying interesting partnerships with companies like Cinterion, Eurotech and Kontron. Now the Intel Intelligence Systems Alliance does not make the “bum (pause) bum bum bum” sound in your ear, and these are not household names. To the stock market, these inroads into M2M are not going to turn the tables immediately. However, we are talking about the Internet of Things and that is a much larger market than PCs and smartphones. 

One other cause for speculation, with Otellini’s retirement, I am not sure this is a simple executive search, I would not be surprised to discover that they look to hire away a Qualcomm executive or perhaps find an acquisition leader. This probably means a right sizing of the company as well. 

Bottom line, Intel is not unaware of its issues, and we should expect to see it take the right steps to regain relevance.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Partner, Crossfire Media

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