At a developer's forum in Taipei last week, two Intel executives publicly slammed the iPhone for it's (non-Intel) choice of CPU — only to have one of their own colleagues slap their hands with a verbal ruler.
Shane Wall (left) and Pankaj Kedia thought they were toeing the company line when they reiterated the "ARM chips can't handle the Internet"
argument — and singled out the iPhone as an example of a smartphone that would excel by incorporating Intel's Atom (a low-power x86
Not long after that, Anand Chandrasekher, the head of Intel's low-power efforts, refuted Wall and Kedia by insisting that Intel's own low-power X86 processors don't hold a candle to the ARM product — which, including the iPhone, accounts for over 90 percent of the world's mobile phones. Here's the entire rebuttal:
Anand Chandrasekher issued a correction on comments made by members of
his team yesterday at Intel's Developer Forum in Taiwan. As general
manager of the Group responsible for Intel's ultra-mobility products,
he acknowledged that Intel's low-power Atom processor does not yet
match the battery life characteristics of the ARM processor in a phone
form factor; and, that while Intel does have plans on the books to get
us to be competitive in the ultra low power domain – we are not there
as yet. Secondly, Apple's iPhone offering is an extremely innovative
product that enables new and exciting market opportunities. The
statements made in Taiwan were inappropriate, and Intel representatives
should not have been commenting on specific customer designs.
Let's not forget: it's only been about three years since Intel and the House of Jobs have decided to play nice. Apple have gotten better CPU's for their upgraded iMacs and MacBooks, while Intel had a partner who wouldn't lean on them exclusively for innovation. (And the "Hello, I'm a Mac/Hello, I'm a PC" ads got one thing right: Apple is a lot more personable — sexier, even! — than the usual Windows business box.)
But at the same time, Apple can — and have — easily lived without Intel. The reverse, sadly, cannot be said for Intel. And their attempts to smooth over one of their top muckety-muck's verbal gaffe shows who's the alpha dog…er, fruit?…in the relation.