5. Can you hear me now? Guess not
IDC (a division of the International Data Group, which owns PCWorld) said Wednesday that smartphone sales were expected to top 1.01 billion devices in 2013, over 65 percent of the "connected device" market that includes desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, phones, and other devices. By 2017, smartphones will make up 70.5 percent of the space. And yet Intel had nothing to say about the phone, except to reiterate its design win inside the Lenovo K900 and its efforts in the LTE space.
Yes, Intel could be prepping for a dedicated "Merrifield" launch for the phone market in the near future, but it needs to get on the ball. Intel still isn't a player in the phone market, and it looks like this won't change soon.
6. Wintel is a convenient fiction
Microsoft and Intel have shared power within the personal computer for the better part of a generation; historically, Intel would introduce a new, more powerful computer, and Microsoft's software would bring it to its knees. That's changed. Only games require a high-end CPU and discrete graphics card, and that means that Microsoft has turned to the tablet and even phones for its OS and productivity software.
With Bay Trail, Intel chips can now power Android and Windows alike. And Intel continues to support the Google-powered Chromebook with its fourth-generation "Haswell" desktop chips. Intel's hearty embrace of Google has been met with Microsoft's adoption of ARM in phones and notebooks, like ex-lovers trying to one-up the other.
7. Moore's Law is Intel's ultra combo
Quite frankly, there is little Intel feels it cannot solve by manufacturing muscle alone. Each year, like clockwork, Intel ushers in either a new processor revision or a new manufacturing node. And the tick-tock model continues apace: "Broadwell," the name of Intel's 14-nm shift, will launch before the end of the year, chief executive Brian Krzanich said at IDF. That means Intel's traditional PC chips in the notebook, desktop, and server space will see their operating power cut, to the tune of 30 percent or more. That's an easy way to keep the PC train rolling.
The PC industry -- Intel included -- has had its existential moment. Intel committed to a new direction: mobile, mobile, mobile. IDF simply told the world what Intel's competitors figured out several years ago.