How Intel's Atom bombed telcos

Intel only has X86 and lawyers, and that’s how they’ve managed to bully and manipulate the industry for years,” according to a highly placed source very close to a leading US telco.

Our anonymous source – attending a late night soiree at Mobile World Congress – also told TechEye he reckoned Intel was “shortsighted,” “lacked vision,” “made bad investments,” and had done itself serious damage by unleashing Atom onto the world.

“And, mark my words, Intel will back out of WiMAX eventually too,” our animated source continued adding “it certainly won’t be the first time Intel has invested billions in a technology it has subsequently dumped.”

“Only two countries have really embraced WiMAX,” our source said, alluding to the US and Korea – although, last time we checked, a fair few more were teeter tottering over the edge of acceptance and building out infrastructure for the wireless network  – maybe even as many as 80 by our calculations.

Warming to the subject of his rant, our telco insider told us Intel had simply been “lucky” to release Atom just as a recession was kicking off noting, “Intel absolutely came along at the right moment, at the right price point, with the wrong user experience.

“Anyone who has ever used a netbook knows what a s***y experience it is and I don’t know any consumer who has been happy with the sub-par browsing, media viewing or computing experience Atom offers.

“Netbooks did damage to the PC industry,” he went on, reasoning that now users expected performance to improve while the low price point remained the same.

“And Intel will screw up tablets too if it thinks it can get away with sticking an Atom in them,” he declared. “The ARMs and Qualcomms of this world will put Intel to shame with a full and seamless browsing experience, on a low powered tablet that is made using IP available to anyone willing to pay a small license fee.”

“Only three companies have an X86 licence. Look how many have an ARM licence. Open beats closed any day,” he concluded, only pausing to add: “But Qualcomm has a lot of lawyers too, hic.”