Intel has had a pretty rocky road in terms of smartphones and mobile in general. Their chips have only been in a handful of smartphones and tablets – with the most popular smartphone being the ASUS Zenfone 2. Being put far behind rivals like Qualcomm, Samsung, and even MediaTek. This week, the company decided that they are cancelling the SoFIA and Broxton chips which were meant for smartphones and really anything under 10 inches. They also mentioned that they are leaving the smartphone space. Which is a bit unfortunate, given how big the space is right now and it’s drastically growing, while the laptop and desktop space is shrinking.
This weekend, AnAndTech ran a piece about Intel leaving the smartphone world with a statement from an Intel representative, who confirmed that they cancelled the “Broxton platform as well as SoFIA 3GX, SoFIA LTE and SoFIA LTE2 commercial platforms” and that they are allocating these resources to “products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy.” Which means that there are no mobile chips from Intel or being developed by Intel right now.
It’s been a tough month for Intel, with the news that they are laying off about 12,000 employees between now and mid-2017. That’s about 11% of their workforce, and definitely a big chunk of their employment. When a company starts laying off employees in big numbers such as this, it’s definitely not good news. Intel likely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but it’s clear that some changes need to be made over there. Seeing as mobile is clearly the future and Intel has nothing in mobile right now, or the foreseeable future.
Intel’s new strategy is on 5G, as well as commitments to the PC. And while they are steering away from mobile, to an extent, they are still sticking with it. 5G is the next generation of a mobile network, and we’re already starting to see Verizon and AT&T testing out their 5G networks. It’s going to be a hot topic, and a big money maker for Intel in the next few years. Provided they get things right. So it’s great to see them looking elsewhere, especially where the smartphone market is so competitive right now, to the point that most companies aren’t making money on smartphones these days.