This is going to sound really strange for a company that had over $40 billion in revenue last year, but right now Intel is an also-ran. No, we’re not talking about laptops. Intel absolutely dominates the competition with a whopping 86 percent market share in notebooks, compared to 14 percent for AMD. It’s the tablet and smart phone space—where mobile computing is heading—where Intel trails the competition by an even greater margin than its lead in the PC arena. However, this unconventional underdog says it’s ready to strike back at its biggest nemesis: ARM.
Specializing in low-power chip designs, the U.K-based ARM licenses its technology to everyone from Nvidia and Qualcomm to Samsung and Texas Instruments. How big is the company’s head start? ARM shipped more than 4 billion chips for mobile devices last year, compared to just 350 to 400 million PCs sold overall. And ARM isn’t content with owning the phone and tablet markets, either. Its partners’ chips will be used to run the next flavor of Windows, fighting Intel on its own turf.
The big question for Intel: Can it steal share from ARM or will it be left behind?