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back to article Intel's fourth quarter a bummer, as expected

Intel helps kick off the high tech earnings season by reporting its financial results for the fourth quarter and full 2012 year, and as Wall Street and Intel top brass had been anticipating, it was not a killer quarter. It was, perhaps, not as bad as many had expected given the challenges in the PC and server rackets and Intel's …

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No doubt to be followed in 2014...

Intel are really hyping up their mobile chipsets which are not likely to crack through the ARM barrier.

When you screw up, Wall St forces you to do something. That is often a strong call to focus on core competence. In the past this has caused Intel to dump their embedded processors (8051, 960...), their StrongARM/XScale stuff - sold to Marvel, their flash business unit, etc etc.

Likely 2014 will see them being forced to focus on PCs and servers and forget their mobile chipsets.

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Re: No doubt to be followed in 2014...

That's not likely Wall Street now "knows" that mobile is the road to riches, just like a few years ago they "knew" that software was the road to riches while hardware barely paid the bills.

If Intel were to drop mobile chipsets the stock would tank.

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kb
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Re: No doubt to be followed in 2014...

I'm sorry but you are wrong and ARM is frankly a fad. The users will soon grow tired of it when it hits the powerwall (Nvidia is already up to 5 cores, Samsung up to 6) and can't squeeze any more performance out of the chips, it just doesn't scale up very well and the best chips being made can't even beat a Cedar Mill P4 in IPC.

No what has happened to Intel and AMD is something we PC retailers have been predicting for quite awhile now which is thus: PCs passed "good enough" and shot straight into "insanely overpowered" several releases back. Look at what I was selling on the LOW end FIVE years ago, Phenom I X4 with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD with a Radeon 4200 IGP. How many of your average users are gonna be able to max out that system? Not many. Heck I love to game and built myself a new system every year and a half, now I'm using a 3+ year old box, heck I didn't even really need to upgrade the Deneb quad to a Thuban Hexacore but when I found Hexacores for $100 I couldn't pass the deal up.

The simple fact is your average user will be WELL served by a first gen Phenom X2 or better or on the Intel side a Core Duo first gen or better because the software just hasn't been able to keep up with the huge leap in processing power since the MHz war became the core war. Take my dad for example whom I use as my perfect "average user" metric because everything he does with his PCs is mainstream. He watches videos and surfs, he chats and checks his webmail, runs his quickbooks and burns discs, as average a user as you could possibly get. When the Phenom IIs went on sale cheap I thought "Ya know, its been a few years since I built him that Phenom I quad home and office systems, maybe I should see if he needs a new unit" so I set up performance logging and came back in a couple of weeks...know what I found? 45%, that was the MAX he had been able to use after 2 weeks of daily use, 45% CPU. Most of the time 2 or more cores were twiddling their thumbs waiting on useful work to do. I found the same is true when it comes to my netbook, I figured that AMD E350 netbook would last me MAYBE 2 years and then I'd get another, instead what do I find? For the things I do when out on service call the netbook works perfectly, so why buy another?

And THAT is why sales are down. I predict the SAME will happen to ARM in less than 2 years, you already have companies piling on the cores trying to get more IPC and yet you have ARM Holdings talking about "dark silicon" because if you turn everything on with their new ARM64 chips you'll have battery life measured in minutes. Other than Apple who has dedicated fans who look at using last year's iPad as practically a sin most companies will end up in a race to the bottom (just like X86) as fewer and fewer feel a need to buy the latest tablet because that Tegra multicore does everything they want it to do. The simple fact is we haven't had a "killer app" since the end of the MHz wars that can actually slam what we have, a few tiny niches like CAD need every cycle they can get but most users? Wouldn't feel any difference between that first gen Phenom X4 or C2Q and a system with the latest and greatest so why buy a new one?

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tremendous progress across the business in 2012 as we entered the market

Well, when you have a track record of near zero sales in a market and have more sales, the % growth can look enormous. But in real terms not even on the radar on phones and Tablets.

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Stop

All multinationals fake their accounting clearly....

15% net income drop with just a 1.2% revenues drop year-on-year ?

Something is clearly wrong with this picture. Otherwise Intel managers should be fired for not being able to ensure a proper net income.

Well, Hollywood studios/tv networks do even worse claiming to be almost bankrupt so obviously these absurd percentage drop numbers look like some little kid playing and nothing serious if compared to Hollywood.

However, it's still a fact that there are just too many lies with all businesses and accounting, both big and small fishes.

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The problem is..

That when I went to see about upgrading my 3 year old desktop, apart from, more RAM, upping the CPU power by any significant amount, was no longer a case of just using the latest cheap chipset.

Moore's law appears to be on the point of stalling. And with mobiles and power consumption being the latest thing, there ain't the volume in *86 technology..

I asked a friend who worked on the original ARM architecture, why they had gone for low power operation "WE didn't. we couldn't afford to design and fab a big chip, so we did the best we could with what we could afford/ It juts turned out to be low power. And then mobile computing came along.."

Is Intel looking at the final curtain? No. But it can no longer rely on desktops to make obscene profits from.

It will have to either shrink back into the server/professional workstation arena, or take a mighty gamble on an ARM twister..

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Anonymous Coward

Hard to believe

It's hard to believe that the clowns at InHell have been unable to understand that there is a worldwide economic melt down. They keep spinning tales for the media to disseminate while reality has caught up to them and is biting them in the arse.

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