Intel Is Losing the Mobile War to Competing Chip Makers: 10 Reasons Why

NEWS ANALYSIS: Intel might own the desktop PC market, but when it comes to mobile, the company is still lagging far behind.

Intel is officially losing the mobile war. Don’t take anyone's word for it but the company itself. For years now, Intel CEO Paul Otellini has admitted that times are tough for Intel in the mobile market and he has been trying to get his shareholders to focus more on Intel’s success in the desktop PC market than anywhere else. And considering his company is still generating billions of dollars each quarter, they’ve been happy to do so.

But over the long term Intel can no longer afford to focus first and foremost on the PC market. This is not the mid-1990s when Intel and AMD were the only major PC chip manufacturers in the market.

These days Intel needs to worry about ARM, a company that designs the architecture for chips, along with several companies that use those designs to build their own processors, particularly for mobile devices. In other words, the mobile world is a much, much different place than the PC market. And Intel has so far failed to understand that.

That said, Intel says that it will make a splash in the mobile market this year. While it’s good to see Intel getting ready to fight harder in the mobile market, it might have already lost the war.

Read on to find out why Intel is losing the mobile war:

1. Blame it on Apple

Intel's troubles in the mobile market could have been avoided if only the company had a strong relationship with Apple. The iPhone maker could have made Intel dominant in the mobile space by bringing its processors to the handset. Instead, Apple went with an ARM-chip, and now, the rest is history.

2. It underestimated ARM

Intel made the mistake of underestimating ARM. The company thought that ARM’s business model, which focuses on designing chip architecture, couldn’t be a threat to its production-based focus. Intel was wrong. And now, ARM is soaring.

3. Power-savings is huge

One of the key reasons processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon are successful is their ability to save battery power. From the outset, Intel didn’t quite understand how important battery-savings would be in mobile phones and the company fell short in that regard. Now, it’s focusing heavily conserving battery power. But is it too late?

4. The CEO couldn't see it coming

Intel CEO Paul Otellini just wasn't the right person to lead the company into the mobile revolution. The chief executive was a fantastic leader when PCs ruled the technology world, but as smartphones and tablets took hold, he fell short. And now Intel is paying the price.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...