The Chinese smartphone market is the biggest smartphone market in the world. Nothing can compare to the Chinese market at the moment, though the Indian market is growing at an amazing rate. That being said, China is also home to many smartphone OEMs, some of them are well-known, others not so much. Either way, a lot of company's see great potential in Asian markets, especially the Chinese one, even SoC manufacturers such as Intel. That being said, this America-based smartphone OEM has held a press event in China recently, let's see what they had to say.
Kirk Skaugen, Intel's Senior Vice President opened up the event by saying "China is the number one market with connected products.". Why did he mention that? Well, China actually holds a rather incredible 30% share of worldwide connected-device purchases in 2014. China is actually the number one market for Intel-powered tablets, 40% (46 million) Intel-powered tablets ended up in the hands of Chinese consumers. That's a huge percentage, now isn't it? Well, it is, but Intel isn't doing all that well in the smartphone department, unfortunately. 420.7 million smartphones shipped in China in 2014, and a very small number was powered by Intel's SoCs. Intel intends to change that in the future, and that was basically the point of this conference.
Intel has announced a new line of mobile SoCs last month, the Atom x3, x5 and x7. The company is hoping these chips will help them to increase their presence in the smartphone world, and they're also hoping the Chinese OEMs will take advantage of those chips, especially the Atom x3. These SoC won't be available until the second half of this year, so we'll see the real results in 2016 quite probably. Either way, Intel is trying to push their way to the mobile space and in order to do that they really have to 'conquer' markets like China. Intel has even partnered up with Rockchip and Spreadtrum at the end of last year in order to help themselves in a way.
"In the last year, we've seen a dramatic improvement in the overall quality in craftsmanship that's come out of Shenzhen," said Skaugen in order to defend devices manufactured in China. Intel has also referred to its "Reference Design" a couple of times during the conference and has mentioned several Chinese ODMs (like Bluebank) that are already offering Atom x3-powered devices to potential companies. It's quite obvious that Intel wants a bigger piece of the smartphone pie, and they see great potential in the Chinese market. To be more specific, Intel is aiming primarily on the entry-level sector of the market, which might be a great idea in the end. It remains to be seen where will this strategy take the company in the end, but Intel is a huge and very well-known company, they surely won't give up that easily. Either way, this will be an exciting year for Intel, that's for sure.