Things are rough over at Intel. In addition to a huge 12,000-person layoff, Intel has finally thrown in the towel in the smartphone and tablet markets, too.
On Saturday, Intel confirmed that it was canceling its upcoming Atom chip, known as “Braxton” for smartphones and tablets, and that it was also ditching a few other related smartphone chips, the company told Ian Cutress and Ryan Smith at the AnandTech news site.
There had been some speculation for the past week among Wall Street analysts that Intel was thinking of severely changing its mobile plans as part of the restructuring, when Intel told them that it was rethinking some projects in the Client Computing Group (CCG), Wells Fargo’s David Wong reported.
But with this confirmation, Intel is officially crying uncle and admitting failure after spending billions of dollars investing in smartphone/tablet chips.
It’s hard to say exactly how much money Intel lost trying to get some skin in the mobile game, the biggest revolution in the computer industry since the PC – and the cause of Intel’s ongoing PC business woes.
Intel reported mobile-product financials for only two years before folding it into a bigger “Client Computing Division.” But in those two years, 2013 and 2014, the unit showed losses of $3.1 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, or $7.3 billion for both years, AnandTech reports.
So if it racked up similar losses in 2015, Intel could be down by maybe $10 billion in three years. And given that Intel’s competitor, ARM, has won the market anyway, the white flag seems like the only option left.
The AnandTech report notes that it’s possible Intel could try to reenter the market with a different chip or strategy. But for now, Intel appears to be out of the game.