As Intel Inside campaign targets mobile world, competitors prepare to fight back

by: Andrew GrushSeptember 24, 2012

Intel Inside

Does the brand of the chip in your mobile device matter to you? While many Android Authority readers might have a chipmaker brand preference, the truth is that most consumers could care less. The brand of the device more than likely matters more to the average tablet or smartphone owner.

These same consumers have a remarkably different attitude when it comes to desktop and laptop computers. Having an “Intel Processor” matters to most PC buyers. Why is this? The key reason is that Intel invested heavily in marketing to make it this way. AMD is a great brand but the Intel Inside campaign has made Intel better known among the average consumer.

How many mobile consumers know what Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia are? The mobile market doesn’t seem all that interested in processor brands, but his could be quickly changing. Intel is showing up in more Android and Windows mobile devices, Intel Inside stickers in tow. Even Google’s Motorola Mobility is introducing the RAZR i as their first Intel branded smartphone. As more phones and tablets show up with Intel logos on them, other processor companies are likely going to start fighting back.

In October, Qualcomm will begin its own branding campaign and the Snapdragon logo will likely start appearing in more and more commercials.

What about other major chip makers? Even Nvidia seems to be reaching out and developing brand recognition. More and more consumers know what a Tegra 3 processor is. This is especially true when it comes to gamers who rely on Nvidia graphics chips for many of their favorite PC games.

One thing seems clear according to Reuters: a processor branding war seems to be brewing. Processor companies can no longer afford to hang around in the background, they need to be publicly recognized.  Can Intel’s stronger branding make any difference as it sets its sight on the mobile world, or are Qualcomm and Nvidia likely to continue to dominate? What could this war mean for other mobile processor companies like Texas Instruments?



  • AquaNox

    It is toi simplistic to say Intel beat AMD by virtue of marketing, fact is AMD stood still for too long after beating P4’s netburst arcitecture. I think in few years time ARM too can find it in similar position, for a first try Medfield is a pretty damn good SoC.

    • Andrew_Grush

      Good point, AMD did drag its feet. I still personally prefer AMD in some ways, but you are right- marketing was only one part of the story. I also agree that Medfield looks to have merit. Only time will tell for sure. :)

  • MasterMuffin

    When intel starts making quad core chips, I’m in :)

  • MoogleStiltzkin

    amd could have fought better had they had something their marketing people could say they did better than intels.

    but the fact of the matter is, I7 was the starting point when amd took a back seat in popularity. The I7 was way more capable in terms of bang for buck for the performance it offered.

    Yes Intel inside branding is indeed popular but it’s the tech behind it which made it even more so because it had great tech to backup it’s marketing hype.

  • raindog469

    Desktop is one thing. Mobile is another. It’s hard to even find a desktop machine that doesn’t use the amd64 architecture, whether the chip itself is made by Intel or AMD. (For those new to the tech industry, Intel created the “Itanium” 64-bit architecture, but the world chose AMD’s instead due to backward compatibility issues with Itanium.)

    In the mobile world, it’s hard to find a phone or tablet (as opposed to “tablet pc”) that isn’t ARM-based, regardless of who makes the chip. Intel has had an ARM business for decades, between their StrongARM and XScale lines. They could easily put an “Intel Inside” sticker on machines with Intel-manufactured ARM chips. But they’ve chosen to make “Intel Inside” about x86 compatibility. That might serve them well in the Windows 8 world, where people might want to run their legacy Windows apps on their tablets. But Android’s critical mass is with ARM. The OS was designed around Java to avoid issues like this, but developers demanded the ability to use native code, and Google gave it to them. Intel has some kind of emulation layer in their Android implementation, but so far, it hasn’t worked very well.

    So, when you’re shopping for an Android phone, an “Intel Inside” sticker is really a warning that most apps which use native code will run poorly on your new phone, if at all… even some flagship apps such as Chrome. The big ones will get ported to Intel, but just like Windows on PowerPC or Android on MIPS, Android on Intel will be a second-class citizen for at least the next couple of years, if it takes off at all.

    At first, only the techies will understand, but once enough early adopters get burned, Intel phones are going to get a reputation for incompatibility.

  • Quality1

    I prefer to purchase products with the Intel brand tag since I relate that to Quality. I would be more apt to purchase a tablet, smart phone or other electronic device carrying the Intel label.