Yesterday we filed a report saying Intel’s next generation mobile platform, Clover Trail, was only going to be capable of supporting Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. Turns out this isn’t the case anymore. An Intel spokesperson sent Computerworld the following statement:
“Intel has plans for another version of this platform directed at Linux/Android; however we are not commenting on the platform specifics or market segments that at this time. Stay tuned.”
What exactly is Clover Trail and why should you care? Take a look at just about any smartphone or tablet on the market. What do they all have in common? They support ARM’s instruction set. Now look at computers; what’s inside? Intel.
Clover Trail is Intel’s attempt at getting companies to use their chips instead of chips from Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, and so on and so forth. Now we’re not going to sugar coat this, so here it goes: Intel has been trying, repeatedly, for the past few years to get companies who make mobile products to take them seriously. This year is actually the first year where they’ve had some success. Lenovo is selling an Intel based smartphone in China, and later today we expect to see Motorola announce their first Intel based smartphone for the European market.
Will Intel ever steal a meaningful chunk of market share from ARM? Absolutely, but it’s going to take some time. Intel has the most advanced chip fabrication facilities on the face of the planet, but they’re all pumping out products that go into servers and laptops. The world needs laptops and servers, there’s no denying that, but all the growth the electronics industry is experiencing right now is in the tablet and smartphone space.
Intel wants a piece of that pie, and boy are they hungry.