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Intel Businesses Cellphones

Why Intel Should Buy Nokia 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the desperately-seeking-sales dept.
An opinion piece at ZDNet makes the case that Intel is the best match for struggling handset-maker Nokia, arguing that Intel needs help breaking into the smartphone market and Nokia isn't tied as tightly to Qualcomm/ARM hardware as other vendors. From the article: "Another factor in favor of a union is Nokia and Intel's shared history — albeit not the most successful — of working together in mobile, thanks to their collaboration on the Linux-based MeeGo mobile OS. What's more, Intel has a long relationship with Microsoft, handy given the impending release of Windows Phone 8 and Nokia's new-found commitment to Microsoft's platform. The fact that Intel is currently using Android, as seen with Orange's San Diego smartphone, isn't much of a hindrance; Intel has already said it hasn't written off the idea of using Windows Phone 8 in future, and due to the x86 architecture, Android phones that use Intel's Atom processor won't even run all of the apps on Google Play, suggesting the relationship between Android and Intel isn't all it could be."
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Why Intel Should Buy Nokia

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  • Re:powered by Maemo (Score:4, Informative)

    by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:39PM (#40880491) Journal

    Maemo / Meego is dead at Nokia. They all either got sacked or quit and formed Jolla mobile.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @06:33PM (#40880885)

    "Why would 3 failures of the mobile market want to get together?"

    Epic fail?

  • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:41PM (#40881827)

    This takes going through a bit of a chain of events, but it's pretty clear that it was Intel's management of the people and the engineering constraints under which they operated, rather than the inability of the engineers themselves not being up to the task:

    StrongARM was sold by DEC to Intel:
    PP3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongARM#History [wikipedia.org]

    Former StrongARM engineers quit Intel for SiByte:
    PP4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongARM#History [wikipedia.org]

    Broadcom acquires SiByte December 2000:
    Row 17: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcom#Acquisitions [wikipedia.org]

    Founder of SiByte leaves Broadcomm to found P.A. Semi:
    PP6: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_W._Dobberpuhl [wikipedia.org]

    P.A. Semi makes fast, power efficient Power Architecture processors (PWRficient):
    PP1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.A._Semi#History [wikipedia.org]

    P.A. Semi acquired by Apple in April 2008:
    PP1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.A._Semi#Acquisition_by_Apple [wikipedia.org]

    P.A. Semi team at Apple tasked with creation of fast, power efficient ARM processors:
    PP2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.A._Semi#Acquisition_by_Apple [wikipedia.org] ...as I said: before, it's probably be a match made in hell for both companies. Intel demonstrably does not currently have the necessary management skills to deal with the problem of power consumption/performance ratio, and has little incentive to actually chase that market down, since it would cannibalize their high end performance market, given that electrical power costs continue to Enron upward.

    It might be possible for Intel to incorporate a wholly owned subsidiary to try and keep things at arms length, but it's pretty clear that the tablet market and smart phone market are driving adoption of low power consumption/performance ratio processors pretty strongly, and things like the Motorola Atrix and ASUS Transformer are starting to target the desktop market, as well.

    It's only a matter of time before Broadcom documents the GPU in the chip used in the Raspberry Pi, or someone else does something similar, and the desktop stranglehold on GPU accelerated graphics will be blown away to the point that Intel putting under-powered GPUs in their low end chips to avoid caniibalizing the market for their high end chips will completely blow them out of the low end of the market altogether.

    The only reason Intel might be able to make some (short term) inroads into the smart phone market would be carrier subsidy of the handset price. This is something that's not happening in the tablet space, and so they won't get the same foothold there. As the tablet market continues to heat up with a slope much steeper than the smart phone adoption rate of anyone other than the earlier iPhone models, they aren't going to be able to rely on subsidy.

    Intel could perhaps launch a "game changer" by cutting out the cellular service providers entirely, and killing the monthly billing that permits the handset subsidy in the first place (a quick way would be to deploy mesh networking with last-hop access to WiFi to undercut 3G/4G), but that is unlike Intel to be that forward thinking (e.g. you can still boot DOS 1.0 on their most recent processors, and that's limited their technology vector considerably). And doing so would vastly undercut the market for carrier subsidized handsets, which is precisely Nokia's market.

    And then we are back to it being a match made in hell for both companies.

  • by fnj (64210) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @09:54PM (#40882317)

    Rest easy. Qt is GPL. Nobody can put a GPL'ed project back in the box. Anybody can fork a GPL project.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

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