The Microsoft Surface

Intel CEO Bets on Android Tablets Rather than Windows to Bring Profitability to Mobile Division

April 16, 2014 - Written By Eric Abent

In case you haven’t already heard, 2013 wasn’t the best of years for Intel’s mobile processor unit. The company released financial figures for FY 2013 earlier, and it looks like Intel’s mobile processor division is bleeding money. The company says it has a plan for profitability moving forward, and new remarks from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich suggest that future should probably involve Android heavily. Speaking during a first-quarter earnings call, Krzanich said that “80 to 90%” of Intel’s mobile processor shipments are for Android tablets. The rest are destined for Windows tablets, which means that Microsoft could be playing catch up to Android and Apple for some time to come.

Windows tablets haven’t appeared to catch on in a big way with consumers, who seem far more likely to pick up something like an iPad or one of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs. Microsoft may dominate the desktop and laptop space with Windows, but it appears that consumers would prefer to have either iOS or Android running on their tablets. “Windows tablet numbers in general have been pretty modest,” Techanalysis Research founder Bob O’Donnell told CNET.

So, while Intel has to worry about making its mobile processor sector profitable while we hear Qualcomm‘s name popping up everywhere, Microsoft has its own share of tablet woes. Make no mistake, there’s definitely a small yet dedicated Surface following out there, but when the number of Windows tablet shipments lag tens of millions behind Apple and Android, it’s hard to consider Surface or tablets from other Windows manufacturers successful in any significant sense.

Unsurprisingly, O’Donnell also told CNET that consumers want Windows on their desktop or laptop, two machines that go hand-in-hand with a keyboard. It would seem that the transition from PC to tablet leaves something to be desired in Windows users, though manufacturers have been trying to bridge that gap, releasing 2-in-1 devices that double as a notebook or a tablet. For its part, Intel told CNET that 2-in-1 aren’t even counted in tablet shipments, rather being counted among Intel’s PC shipments. Regardless of what’s considered a tablet and what isn’t, one thing is clear here: Windows tablet sales are definitely suffering thanks to intense competition from the likes of Android and Apple.