Haswell chips will be in dozens of mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and hybrid PCs based on both Windows 8 and Android. However, Intel, which has dominated the chip-making scene for PCs and servers, needs to find ways to spread to smartphones.
Intel admirably handled a dip in PC demand during Q2 but slashed its earnings expectations for the most recent quarter--so it's been an up-and-down year for the semiconductor giant. Emerging markets should continue to drive Intel's PC business for the short term, and at least some analysts are bullish on the company's long-term prospects--but to achieve the earth-shaking goals it has planned, Intel will need a foothold in the smartphone world.
ARM is Intel's chief target in this market. Apple's iPhone 5, for example, has ARM inside, as expected. As InformationWeek columnist Kurt Marko notes in his analysis of what Intel showed at IDF, Intel's big challenge is to win over hardware device partners who have moved on to other platforms. "It's not too late, but as we learned over the last couple weeks, Apple, Amazon, and Google aren't standing still," Marko says.