Intel's Mooly Eden hints at copying Apple

It appears that the world and its dog wants to build a walled garden to mimic Apple’s success, even the unlikely chipmaker Intel.

Intel’s Mooly Eden hinted to workers at Tel Aviv that the company was taking steps to make sure that Intel was not just associated with chips.

He told the assembled throngs that the IT industry was more than just being about the processor.   Apparently it is more about a system and a usage model.

The gratuitous use of non-words to describe Intel’s plans is open to interpretation. However, Eden told the crowds that the answer to the iPhone was the something like the Motorola RAZRi device, which is one of the first smartphones to use Intel chips.

According to ZDnet, Eden claimed that Intel was more than a year ahead of everyone else in the mobile space in processors and chips. He said that if Chipzilla can’t grab a significant share of the market in its scaly claws, it will be its own fault.

But Eden’s use of the meaningless phrase “usage model” had eyebrow raised. This bit of management doublespeak could mean anything, but is fast becoming shorthand for “Copy Apple”. It means that you have a cunning plan which involves hardware/software/cloud/marketing where the user is locked into an ‘ecosystem’ which is controlled by the company.

It is the same model which is being touted by Microsoft, which recently ramped up its hardware business, alongside its ongoing cloud and app store efforts.

If Intel has decided to go down the same route, it will have to make some sweeping changes and perhaps come up with a device of its own.

Eden alluded the company is planning just that. He would not say what, but claimed that it was innovative and is far outside the company’s usual suite of offerings. Select developers have been given the SDK, apparently under an NDA tighter than Steve Ballmer in skinny denims with a 36 inch waist.

The gizmo is aimed at consumers and is being developed at Intel Israel’s R&D centre in Haifa. Intel will show it off at the CES trade show early next year. ZDNet thinks that it could be the first “Intel Outside” device to hit the shops.

There is one obvious downside to this cunning plan. Copying Apple when you are probably the least ‘cool’ company in the known universe, next, perhaps, to SAP, is problematic. Intel selling its own walled garden of delights is a bit like IBM selling sex toys. It might be possible in theory, but we doubt it would ever catch on.