In his departing notes to shareholders last night, Intel CEO Paul Otellini was remarkably upbeat about a boat that is increasingly beginning to resemble the now famous Itanic.
Delivering its financial results, Otellini reckoned that its investment in chips for tablets and smartphones would pay off in the next quarter.
That seems highly unlikely to this observer. If Intel is winning deals with smartphone and tablet manufacturers, I am sure that we hacks would have been bombarded with press releases galore.
We haven’t been deluged with press releases about its Atom wins. And we very much doubt we will be deluged by them any time real soon.
Ultrabooks have been a failure because no-one wants to pay over the odds for a machine that’s not particularly thin and is particularly expensive.
Intel’s economic model looks a little broken – particularly so because it has relied on chip prices staying high, and because it costs billions to make fabrication plants. Now, Microsoft has signalled it will try give its touch technology a boost by cutting prices on Windows 8.
That is not good news for Intel. To survive, it has to make loads of money in order to finance its fabs and also, we might note in passing, to pay the 105,000 people that work for Chipzilla.
According to Otellini, yesterday, Haswell – or should we call it Has been – will save Intel’s bacon. The numbers just don’t add up, Mr Otellini. We still are waiting to see who the head hunters herd into the Satan Clara company to replace the multi-millionaire and to shepherd the flocks.