back to article Intel sees 'signs of improvement in the PC business' but earnings remain 'Meh...'

Intel has posted its financial results for its first quarter of fiscal 2014 that were either marginally lower or higher than analysts' estimates, depending upon which analysts you trust. Chipzilla reported revenues of $12.8bn for the quarter, with net income of $1.9bn and the all-important earnings per share (EPS) coming in at …

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  1. Charles Manning

    Intel IoT

    One looks at the IoT numbers and wonder how they could have made such good numbers on their Quark processors etc.

    Digging a bit deeper though, Intel's IoT business unit is pretty broad based: server side stuff, analytics and their quarks and atoms.

    If IoT really ever takes off, Intel's end-point offering (quarks and Atoms) will never really do anything useful because they are too damn expensive and Intel has dropped the embedded industry in the poo so many times that nobody with sense buys embedded silicon from them.

    Their servers and analytics might do OK, so long as they invest in some companies that provide more services and infrastructure.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, they pretty much just told us the PC market for the upcoming year.

    They promise to ship 40M mobile chipsets. This quarter the shipped 5M, half of the run rate they need to reach that goal. This is with at least $20 per machine in incentives, perhaps up to $51.

    There is only one obvious way to hit those numbers. Allow the "mobile" chips to be used in Small Form Factor motherboards. Primarily VIA and AMD sell to the low end of this market (Intel's Atom brand comes in at higher prices). A superficial analysis would put most of the hit on them, but it's really going to gut the margins on Intel's Atom and Celeron products, and impact all of the non-server margins.

    It might be what Intel needs to do, but it's not going to be pretty on a gross margin basis.

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  4. ptmmac

    Intel between a rock and a hard place

    Intel is not going to die right now, but their bread and butter business has been ailing for much longer than they have let on. Apple's current A7 chip is really hitting them in the gut. The iPad's average selling price means that Microsoft has lost the profitable part of the tablet market. This is why they are fighting for scraps at the bottom of the food chain.

    Intel has been hurting since 2004 and the death of the net burst architecture. Lack of built in obsolescence has been killing them. Without the frequency boost to increase demand for the newest chips they have been unable to get users to switch as frequently. It has taken almost a decade for the wisdom of buying once and holding to become the new norm in computer building. Performance per watt is definitely only a stop gap solution. To make matters worse the cost per node of miniaturization has been going up sharply. Intel is slowly losing it's stranglehold over CPU prices at the exact moment when it needs more cash for future changes.

    What we are all waiting for is a basic change in computer organization. Intel does not seem to be a likely candidate for finding the replacement for the PC. Cell phones still use almost the same basic system as desktop computers plus the radio and battery. A fundamental switch to photonics and/or spintronics is really what we need. A new semiconductor material would work as a stopgap, but nothing seems to be on the horizon.

  5. Snapper
    Unhappy

    How come...

    ..you didn't manage to get the word 'Apple' in the header Rik? Won't the Ed be displeased?

  6. tojb

    Bad or good news for UK competitors?

    "Mobile and Communications Group's $156 million fairly stunk up the balance sheet, down 61 per cent y/y"

    Are they losing market share to ARM, IMG etc or is the market shrinking? Both?

  7. PeterM42
    Megaphone

    Things will improve for Intel......

    .......Just as soon as Microsoft stop trying to force TIFKAM (Win 8.x) on enterprise users and give them something which does not cost megabucks in user retraining.

  8. PaulM 1

    PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

    Intel's marketting have totally failed to explain to the person in the street how much the performance of PCs has improved over the last 3 years. 2 years ago I started a new job and was routinely given the cheapest PC money could buy to do my work. What I was given was a HP Sandy Bridge i3 PC costing about £300. All my colleagues who had similarily bottom of the range Dell Pentium 4 PCs were shocked to discover that the software tests that we were running ran 4 tmes as fast on my PC. No one (not even the IT department) appreciated that a dual core i3 processor was much faster than the single core Pentium 4 processors that they were running. Also the Sandy bridge interface to DDR3 memory on the i3 performed memory reads and writes much quicker than memory reads and writes on the ageing Pentium 4 PCs in the office. The fact that my i3 PC had a SATA disk interface also helped.

    The problem with thinking that tablets have replaced PCs is that the processors in tablets are roughly equivalent to 10 year old Intel Pentium 3 processors. Tablets run angry birds really well but will not run a serious PC app such as Battlefield 4.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

      For what purpose does a consumer of content require anything more powerful than a Pentium III with H.264 offload?

      1. jackofshadows Silver badge

        Re: PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

        ... I'm thinking ... (wait for it) .... Got me.

        The exceptionz are gamers and workstation users. The first is almost certainly met by a dedicated device as it gives a nicely defined target for developers and (perhaps?) better game play. The latter, if the CISO/CIO isn't totally insane served via remote desktop from the firm, particularly when it's framed by the insider threat.

        We're collectively heading to phones and tablets at home, and on the road, with a couple of laptops for school work. And, of course, my $10K server/workstation. I really want to dish that out to anything here but the solutions are ugly, require a full time expert DevOp, and/or huge amounts of cash. Oh well.

        1. PaulM 1

          Re: PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

          I think that everyone in a work environment deserves a new PC. If I can run software tests in 10 minutes instead of 40 minutes then it makes sense to buy me a £200 i3 PC to do my job. An important question to ask is "what would the PC on my desk cost on eBay". If the answer is £40 then your company think that you are only worth £40.

          So far as games are concerned the Xbox One and PS4 were built using standard low end PC components. If you want to to run the latest games at a decent resolution then you need a £600 i5 gaming PC. Many PCs (such as my £200 i3 work PC) will run games better than the Xbox One if you buy something like a £280 Nvdia GTX760 graphics card for it.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: PCs are much faster than they were 3 years ago

            "I think that everyone in a work environment deserves a new PC."

            Why? What's the business case?

            "If I can run software tests in 10 minutes instead of 40 minutes then it makes sense to buy me a £200 i3 PC to do my job."

            You may have a reason to have a faster PC for the specific business case that software tester. Assuming you ignore the options of cloud computing (public or private) or providing them multiple older PCs so that they can run multiple tests in parallel.

            Personal preference does not a business case make. Certainly, one cannot extend this specific use case - that of testing software - to apply to all workers.

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