This year has been anything but boastful for Intel as far as the furthering of its mobile strategy has been concerned. The company looked to lay the foundation of its mobile platform portfolio with Systems on a Chip (SoC) including its Cherry Trail solution at the beginning of 2015.
Ultimately, Intel pulled the plug on mobile at the end of April this year, shelving its Broxton and SoFIA Atom projects before they could be delivered to market. This left the CPU giant to instead focus upon the development and production of cellular modems.
Almost a year after joining the company, Venkata Renduchintala, President of Intel's Client and Internet of Things (IoT) Businesses and Systems Architecture Group, was interviewed by PCWorld. In response to the question of Intel's sudden switch to focus solely upon modem development, he said:
"First of all, we rationalized what we were spending our R&D on. We had a couple of mobile SoC products that I don’t think were worthy to continue to conclusion. That doesn’t mean to say we’re no longer doing mobile platforms. On the mobile platform side, my commitment is to talk less and do more. When we have something to say we’ll talk about it."
While the answer could be construed as leaving the door open to a future return to mobile or, conversely, a failure to deny an ongoing interest in that market, it's important to understand the context in which the answer was provided.
Earlier in the interview, Renduchintala had stated that he was "not coming in to fix anything" and that he didn't think that his boss, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, had hired him "to maintain the status quo." The president had also mentioned:
"I’m passionate about technology but I’m also passionate about profitability and how the two are married in a seamlessly reinforcing way."
It's unsurprising that mobile Atom processors met their demise and that trying to turn around or persist with the struggling product line were unpalatable options for Intel. With its traditional client computing market on the decline, the company must continue to examine growth markets such as IoT, VR and autonomous vehicles for opportunities to act as a technology integrator.