back to article Pathetic PC sales just cost us a BILLION dollars, cries Intel

Intel has lowered its revenue forecast for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015 by nearly a billion dollars, citing a weaker than expected PC market. While previously the chipmaker had said it expected to bring in $13.7bn (£9.21bn) during Q1, plus or minus $500m, on Thursday it revised that estimate to $12.8bn (£8.6bn), plus …

  1. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

    Intel HAS an ARM licence.

    They can fab, Fabulously.

    They should swallow ego and do ARM SoC for Mobile instead of trying the square peg in round hole

    Last year their Mobile was down about 80+ % too.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

      They have competition selling ARM. They have none selling x86, and can charge near-monopoly prices. They feel it is worth losing money in mobile for a decade on the hope they might eventually get traction for x86 in mobile and start earning big profits rather than to give up and compete with Qualcomm, Nvidia, Mediatek and Allwinner for tiny margins.

      1. ilmari

        Re: Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

        I have a atom android tablet, and I must say the performance isn't as bad as I thought Atom would be. With performance I also mean batterylife. My Haswell-Y, however, is a bit disappointing.

        Intel's kit previously had a price disadvantage, but now that that's fixed (temporarily?), intel is.looking useful.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

        They can't charge near-monopoly prices selling mobile x86 as if they try that their customers would be off to ARM in a shot and their customers' customers (us) wouldn't really mind anyway. If anything they have to subsidise mobile x86 to get anywhere.

        It seems like a really big case of NIH. They need to learn from Microsoft on how to embrace, extend, and extinguish.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

      > Intel HAS an ARM licence.

      Intel _used_ to have an ARM licence when they bought XScale, but they sold XScale to Marvel.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Mobile and Communications segment saw its revenues plummet by 85.3 per cent.

        Have one, don't have one...it's not like an ARM license is expensive!

  2. Ted's Toy

    Most businesses are looking for something to replace their Windows XP systems and until something comes alone which will replace their legacy office and accounting systems without using a Microsoft 8 family product the PC industry and hardware makers will all suffer. Once a company's products looses its appeal and trust with its users to win back the same is damned near impossible. History is littered with companies who knew best and stopped listening to customers.

    1. Steven Roper

      I think the main reasons businesses aren't upgrading are twofold:

      1. Our systems work, they satisfy all our present and foreseeable needs, our staff know how to use everything and we can provide our customers with the level of service they've come to expect form us. If we upgrade, we have to retrain all our staff to use the new interfaces Microsoft have foisted on us and we have to iron all the bugs out of the new systems. Ours ain't broke, so we ain't gonna fix 'em.

      2. RENTISM IS NOT A BUSINESS MODEL WE WILL EVER ACCEPT. We are not, under any circumstances whatsoever, going to be put in a position where we have to continuously pay every month to continue to use software we've already paid for once. Microsoft can stick their Office 365 rentism scheme sideways into the most painful orifice they can find on their worthless, greedy arseholes, because we are not going to be put in a position where they can hold all our work and data to ransom unless we pay whatever they demand every month to keep using it.

    2. WatAWorld

      Intel products are used by Apple and Linux to, this is not a Windows issue.

      @Ted: Apple's use Intel chips too. Linux runs on Intel too.

      That trashes the "blame MS for everything" argument.

      Intel's problem is Intel's problem, it isn't producing anything that makes old products obsolete.

      Intel's problem is nothing to do with Microsoft.

      Another point, MS's job is selling copies of its software, not selling Intel CPUs.

      So when MS produces a new OS one of MS's objectives will be to make it lightweight so it does not require a bigger processor, that it can work on existing computers.

      1. Ted's Toy

        Re: Intel products are used by Apple and Linux to, this is not a Windows issue.

        Apple sale % of the PC market has risen and their sale are doing just fine thank you. Apple has kept the OS for mobile and the OS for PC separate. This has seen their increase in market share rise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intel products are used by Apple and Linux to, this is not a Windows issue.

        People are leaving Win PC's BECAUSE of Windows and because they now can get an affordable replacement WITHOUT Windows (iPad and Android tablets).

        As long as the industry doesn't realize this there will be no change.

  3. Kev99 Bronze badge

    Boo-hoo-hoo

    First, poor widdle Intel. It only made 10 times as much money as the next largest chipmaker instead of 11 times. Now, they want to help give hackers, crooks, spies, and other ne'er do well even m,ore opportunities to steal your life by pushing the internet of things. Sheesh. What a bunch of maroons.

  4. Captain DaFt

    But, They didn't lose a dime, did they?

    A bit of drama surely? They made huge profits, just not as much as they were expecting.

    Intel, get over it. The market's changing, and you just don't have as big a slice of the pie as you thought you did.

  5. Rampant Spaniel

    For too long they have just released incremental, minor upgrades. They haven't really produced anything earth shattering. They release i7's with huge areas of the die devoted to graphics that many won't use. When they do nix the graphics and add more cores they charge a fortune for it. If you want my money you need to do better than a 10-12% increase in performance.

    I just built a new desktop after maybe 5 years with the old one. I went with the amd 8350, not because I am a fan but because the MB, SSD, RAM, antex case, psu, CPU and gfx card came to about $400 in a sale. It's not as fast as an i7, but for lightroom, coupled with the ssd, it's plenty fast enough. It has also saved me a fortune on the heating bill. The AMD isn't better but for the $125 I paid for it I don't have buyers remorse, it combined with an ssd made the better choice then even an i5 for the same total cost.

    I respect intels play it safe approach with (mostly) regular release cycles but I think the lack of serious high end competition from AMD has allowed them to rest on their laurels. I would have liked to see them be brave and ditch an upgrade cycle since they keep slipping and bring forward skylake. I'm looking to get a tablet soon and I would love a goldmont chip to be in it but thats probably not going to be for ages. So I will wait, perhaps by then AMD will be using 16nm and be able to compete a little better?

    Spending $700 - $1000 on a new desktop is a fairly serious commitment, if you want to get people to spend it you have to deliver a decent jump. It's too easy to look at what you have already and go it's just not worth the cost for a modest speed bump. ymmv

    1. ilmari

      Intel's graphics is the most popular graphics choice for PCs, makes sense to integrate it in their mainstream offer.

      AMD moving to 16nm wont make you happy, by that time Intel will be measuring node size in atoms rather than nm. Both companies make CPUs that are "good enough", anyway.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        I agree to a point on the graphics. It makes more sense on an in than an i7 to me. Short of them actually putting discrete class graphics on die (then you have power / heat / memory bandwidth concerns) I felt the higher end chips either needed basic or no graphics. The current situation is kind of a halfway house, especially for desktops. I understand with laptops it makes a lot more sense. I'm probably in the minority as usual though :)

        With a desktop is cheap and easy to throw in a graphics card. If a top end i7 is $300 and half the die is GPU, is that GPU on a level with a $150 discrete card? I'd rather have 8 cores and add a discrete card and upgrade it later if needed but 8 cores is a lot more money.

      2. WatAWorld

        Intel's graphics is only the most popular graphics choice for laptops and inexpensive desktop computers, i3s and i5s.

        Putting fancy graphics on Core i7s displays a lack of understanding of customer needs.

        Most people who buy desktop computers with Core i7 are going to want equivalent to nVidia GTX740 performance or better.

        Since Intel can't put that in the CPU Intel is wasting money putting stuff in CPUs that is never going to be used.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Industry is hurting itself

    As an income earner in the middle class I'd love the have a new computer, but the one old laptop I own still functions, so I can't justify spending money on what I'd like to have. With the median wage stagnant for about 30 years while the economy has grown significantly over that time, in North America, industry has no place to put the blame but on themselves.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Industry is hurting itself

      Indeed, how dumb it is to build laptops that work for years? Don't they know they should just collapse a day after warranty expiration?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone remember upgrade chips?

    Back in the day P3 on slot adapters etc.

    Intel keep changing the bloody socket so often in order to upgrade a cpu we have to upgrade everything and the potential is not enough to justify that.

    Design a FP socket, one that will be able to take future processors, not to full "5 channel hyper memory" spec maybe but enough that it's worth buying a new processor to reduce the power consumption of a long term file server while at the same time increase speed, add some encryption features etc.

    It's the greed that has come back to sit at the table, I'm sure they could have made it easier for consumers they just didn't see the short term profit.

    1. theblackhand

      Re: Anyone remember upgrade chips?

      Back in the day, upgrading PC's or building PC's was a significant part of the market.

      These days, systems being upgraded (i.e RAM/CPU/disk/GPU) accounts for a fraction of 1% and most of the revenue from that is at the higher end of the performance spectrum.

      It's now more profitable to design systems that can be easily assembled rather than those that can be upgraded piece by piece.

  8. tempemeaty

    The term "Wintel" comes to mind...

    As goes Microsoft's Windows so goes the hardware that runs it.

    It's to bad Intel can't solve this issue with another OS that would generate some excitement and sell more PCs.

    ¯\(º_o)/¯

    1. theblackhand

      Re: The term "Wintel" comes to mind...

      Any suggestions what that OS might be? Intel has the desktop OS market pretty much sewn up (Windows/OS X/Linux).

      Intel's problem is that everyone has been moving to ARM-powered mobile devices and no longer need the laptops/desktops to communicate.

    2. WatAWorld

      Actually Intel would have bumper sales if Windows were the problem.

      If Windows were the problem Intel would be selling tons of CPUs to be used in new Apple and Linux machines being used to replace Windows machines.

      Intel's problem is partly that people are satisfied with Windows.

      And when Windows 10 comes out, it, like Windows 8.1, will be lightweight and able to run on existing computers. It is not going to help Intel.

      Intel must help itself and make products with new features that compel customers to shell out $800.

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    For my own amusement I got a Pi2

    and with a 21" monitor, keyboard,mouse and wireless I've got a PC that is easily good enough for 90% of office users for barely £130.

    Not sure how much it would be to put windows on it but everyone I know seems happy with the Linux offerings of office etc.

  10. CaptainBanjax

    Incremental Improvement

    Is likely killing them. Ive very recently started using old(er) Xeon CPUs for my gaming rigs because they are equally as powerful (if not slightly more) than newer desktop CPUs.

    E.g. I have an Xeon X5690 in my gaming machine. Got it off eBay for £30. Shoved it in a Dell Precision T3500 (eBay £50) with 16GB RAM that I had lying around (Salvaged from stuff being thrown out somewhere).

    Paid full whack for a GTX760 and I have a very capable gaming machine for less than 300 quid.

    At work I have a similar machine with an i7 4770k in it and the same graphics card and the Xeon machine benchmarks slightly better. Which is crazy because the X5690 is nearly 5 years old.

    1. Sporkinum

      Re: Incremental Improvement

      You were damned fortunate. Market rate on Ebay for that CPU is around $200.

      The issue with intel is that the computers out there are good enough for most. Barring any breakdown, most people can keep on keeping on with what they have.

  11. WatAWorld

    Intel, you want people to buy your product, give them a reason to buy your new product.

    Dumb people will blame Windows 8, but real people with half a brain, real people using computers for useful purposes, they don't buy new computers just to get new operating systems.

    When Windows 10 comes out, people will install it on their Windows 7 computers, since those computers will be powerful enough to run it.

    You want people to buy your product, you must give them a reason to buy your new product.

    All new Intel CPUs have offered us lately is lower power consumption.

    Why spend $800 on a new computer to save $1 a month in electric power?

    Laptops, tablets, yes. Desktops, I'd have to be stupid.

    And in hardware,. the NUC, the little boxes, those aren't going to persuade me to ditch my desktop either.

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