After Growing Its Tablet Business, Intel CEO Eyes Phone Chip Market
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich put a big stake in the ground for 2014, predicting the company would power 40 million tablets this year after having essentially missed the early part of the market.
For next year, Krzanich says Intel has a chance to finally make headway in phones, another area where the company is a virtual nonentity, powering only a few models from Acer, Lenovo and some brands few people have ever heard of. But, while he is optimistic, Krzanich said he isn’t quite ready to declare a target for phones.
“I haven’t set it,” Krzanich said in an interview with Re/code after his appearance at last week’s Code Conference. Krzanich added that he wants to wait to see how the company proceeds with a new chip technology and with its conversations with customers later this year.
While Qualcomm dominates the market in North America and Western Europe, Krzanich said that there are many parts of the world that remain open to Intel.
“The fastest growing market is China right now, and it is not dominated by a single player,” he said.
A big part of Intel’s phone strategy is having its signature chips made in other people’s factories. The company is using a chip design acquired from Infineon that uses a rival ARM processor. With the new chips, known as SoFIA, the company will swap in an Intel Atom processor for the ARM chip, but continue to make them at Taiwan’s TSMC. A new deal with China’s Rockchip should help the company gain a bigger foothold in China, he said.
Krzanich said he also sees the ability for Intel to continue grabbing market share in tablets in 2015.
The company may not be able to quadruple its tablet business as it is looking to do this year, but Krzanich said a goal of something on the order of 70 million tablets could be achievable.