Intel Corp showed off hybrid tablets and ultrabook laptops with
voice and gesture recognition technology along with an upcoming
low-power chip in a bid to convince Wall Street a slump in the personal
computer industry is only temporary.
At the annual Intel Developer
Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, the company demonstrated a range of
mobile devices, many of them crosses between tablets and laptops.
Executives showed sleek "ultrabook" laptops with improved gesture- and
voice-recognition features, similar to those already found on some
Intel's upcoming processor, code-named Haswell and
due to appear in a crop of laptops during next year's holiday season,
will improve on computing and graphics features and is targeted to
reduce electricity consumption from 17 watts to 10 watts, according to
The chip will allow devices to stay on longer without
needing to recharge and underscores the Intel's recognition that
mobility will only become a bigger factor in personal computing.
was designed with mobility in mind ... from sleek tablets to ultrabooks
to high-performing desktops," said David Perlmutter, general manager of
Intel's Architecture Group.
In an interview with Reuters,
Perlmutter steered away from strict categories of laptops and tablets
and said manufacturers over the next few year will offer a wider range
of mobile products for consumers, mixing and matching new features,
performance and size.
Recent launches of smaller tablet sizes by
Google and Amazon are examples of the already growing range of devices
consumers have to choose between, a trend that will gain more steam, he
"There will be a variety of needs fulfilled by a variety of
solutions. Some people want something very benign, very simple,"
Perlmutter said. "Others need performance."
Intel, showing off its most recent innovations at the forum this week
is key to convincing investors and hardware developers that the PC
industry remains innovative and still has a future.
pointed to tablets with extendable screens and laptops with removable
keyboards as devices that he said might catch on with the upcoming
release of Microsoft Corp's Windows 8, which will feature touch capability.
tablet strategy so far has focused on Windows 8, but Perlmutter said
tablets running Intel processors and widely-used Google's Android
platform are also in the works.
The top chipmaker cut its
third-quarter revenue estimate more than expected on Friday due to a
decline in demand for its chips as customers reduce inventories and
businesses buy fewer PCs.
Intel's processors are used in 80
percent of the world's PCs, but the Santa Clara, California, company has
been slow to adapt its chips for smartphones and tablets. It now trails
Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>,
which design their chips with power-efficient technology licensed from
ARM Holdings Plc .
The combined market for
PCs, smartphones and tablets is expected to almost double over the next
four years, but Intel's share of the processors used in them will dip
from 35 percent to 29 percent, according to a report this week from IHS
While macroeconomic troubles have weighed on sales for
several quarters, the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones is
seen as an existential threat to the PC industry.
chip's improved power efficiency is a step in the right direction to
offering consumers punchy performance in thin laptops without
sacrificing battery life, said Evercore analyst Patrick Wang.
"Will it stymie the shift towards tablets and smartphones? Not yet, but only time will tell," Wang said.
well as investors, Intel's forum is visited by thousands of hardware
developers, many of whom face decisions about whether to focus their
resources on the PC industry or mobile devices using chips made by
Intel is heavily promoting premium Ultrabook
laptops powered by recently launched Ivy Bridge processors. But Wall
Street investors say that adding costly touch screens to models due out
soon may make them too expensive for many consumers. Many ultrabooks
currently on the market, without touch screens, cost over $1,000.
said bringing down the costs of building ultrabooks to make them more
mainstream is a challenge Intel is working on with PC manufacturers.
the shift in focus toward mobile, Apple on Wednesday will become a
distraction for participants at the forum when it is expected to launch
its newest iPhone at a nearby venue.
Some analysts said Perlmutter's speech was light on details about future products than keynotes in previous years.
time around, the company only highlighted a few next-gen features,
lacking the details to show how Intel would play more materially in the
low-power segment of computing devices," Freedman said.
Shares of Intel were up 1.4 percent at $23.58 in afternoon trading.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012