Update – According to a statement provided by Intel, “We are not exiting the mobile space. We are committed to long-term leadership and improved profitability of our mobile business and the decision to cancel these projects enable us to move resources to products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy.”
While Intel appears to be continuing to dominate the desktop and laptop market with their processors, their mobile efforts haven’t been as successful, with the landscape being mostly dominated by the likes of Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung. So much so that there is now speculation that Intel could be looking to exit the mobile business.
The company has recently announced that they will be cancelling an upcoming Atom processor – codenamed SoFIA, and Broxton – that has been designed for smartphones and tablets. The ramifications of the cancellations are two-fold: one is that it obviously does Intel no favors to be cancelling products in the mobile space when they aren’t doing as well, and secondly it could also affect the development of the rumored Microsoft Surface Phone.
Of course this is just speculation as Intel has not formally announced their plans to exit mobile, but their statement on the matter seems to hint that they are planning an exit. “Intel is accelerating its transformation from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices. We will intensify our investments to fuel the virtuous cycle of growth in the data center, IoT, memory and FPGA businesses, and to drive more profitable mobile and PC businesses.”
Like we said, it has been rumored that the Surface Phone could be powered by Intel, but recent rumors have indicated that the handset could pack a Snapdragon 830 chipset, so perhaps Microsoft learnt of Intel’s plans early on and have already adapted to other possible solutions.