Fool me once...
I think the deal here is that the mobile industry has seen the way that Intel and Microsoft turned the PC business into a mechanism for collecting their revenues and wants no part of it. No one in the handset or tablet business is willing to hand over their future to a company that will milk them mercilessly while actively stifling competitive innovation.
At least if you go with ARM, the de facto core of choice in the mobile business, you get software compatibility (nice, considering how tricky some of it is to author) and your choice of fiercely competing chip vendors (double nice). The fact that you’re paying a royalty of maybe 5 - 10c a chip for the use of the ARM core seems a small price to pay for the combination of software compatibility and hardware choice.
Plus Intel never really commits to anything other than its high-margin, rent-seeking processor designs. The did, after all, get rights to the StrongARM core through a deal with Digital and couldn’t make anything of that.