Intel is trying desperately to grow its share of the tablet market, but with Windows they think it is not possible. So it’s time to say goodbye Windows. Intel hopes to see its processors used in 40 million tablets this year, and 80 percent to 90 percent of those will be running Google’s Android OS. Most Intel-powered tablets running Android today use the older Medfield and Clover Trail+ chips. More Android tablets running the latest Atom processor, called Bay Trail, will ship later this quarter.
BayTrail-T processors, such as the Atom Z3740 and the Atom Z3770, are priced at $32 and $37 respectively with a 10 percent subsidy for bulk purchases. With this pricing, however, Intel isn’t being very competitive when compared to ARM-based chips of the same calibre. With the affordable chips, Intel hopes to be in a better position to compete against companies like Qualcomm with its Snapdragon chips and Nvidia with its Tegra chips.
Intel is chasing ARM the U.K. company whose processor designs are used in most tablets today, including those running both Android and Apple’s iOS.
According to report Intel shipped 5 million tablet chips this year, but revenue from its Mobile and Communications Group fell 61 percent year over year. That’s partly because of the subsidies and the need to focus for now on the low-end Android market, but Intel hopes things will look up with its later, more capable chips.
Intel is providing discounts and development funds to tablet makers to reduce the cost of using its chips. It’s looking for growth with the white-box Chinese tablet makers, which are expected to ship up to 130 million tablets this year.
According to PCworld, Krzanich said he expects Windows to “grow and gain traction,” and more Intel-based tablets running both Android and Windows will be shown in June at the massive Computex trade show in Taipei.
Microsoft hasn’t made much difference for Google’s and Apple’s share of the market, but IDC estimated last month that Windows would have 10.2 percent of the tablet market by 2017. Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard have launched Windows 8 tablets with Bay Trail, and Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 2 uses an Intel Core processor, but the tablets haven’t sold well.