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He said he should have listened to his gut

Former Intel CEO and longtime employee Paul Otellini had his last day yesterday, and after 40 years of employment with the chipmaker, his only major regret was missing out on the iPhone.

Otellini, who became Intel CEO in 2005, said he was disappointed that he passed up the opportunity for Intel to make chips for the iPhone back before the device's 2007 release. It was his one truly regretful moment during his long career with Intel, and the one time he decided not to go with his gut instinct. 

"We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it," said Otellini. "And the world would have been a lot different if we'd done it. The thing you have to remember is that this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do... At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn't see it. It wasn't one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought."

Apple's early iPhones ended up having processors made by Intel's rival, ARM. ARM certainly jumped on the mobile processor bandwagon quickly, making the crucial transition from traditional PCs to the exploding mobile sector. 

"The lesson I took away from that was, while we like to speak with data around here, so many times in my career I've ended up making decisions with my gut, and I should have followed my gut," said Otellini. "My gut told me to say yes."

Paul Otellini

While Samsung (Apple's main hardware rival in the mobile industry) has been manufacturing most of Apple's smartphone and tablet processors for years, the two are looking to split after nasty patent wars and increased competition have broke out between the two. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, Samsung's President of LSI business Stephen Woo said that it's crucial for the South Korean electronics maker to focus on alternatives to Apple when it comes to the chip sector.

This being the case, Apple has reportedly been in talks with Intel again to manufacture its chips for iPhones and iPads. This could lessen Apple's reliance on Samsung and help Intel leap further into the mobile processing sector. 

Otellini joined Intel in 1974.  He was appointed to senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing from 1994-1996 and then executive vice president of sales and marketing from 1996-1998. He became executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group from 1998-2002.

Otellini announced his retirement in November 2012. Earlier this month, Brian Krzanich was named the new CEO. 

Source: The Atlantic

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RE: The full story?
By karimtemple on 5/17/2013 5:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
Name the last software advance in CONSUMER software that REALLY required advanced HW.
Video games. A/V compression. AI. Voice recognition. Multitasking.

As hardware advances, things become consumer-grade that were previously professional-grade. Hobbyists can now do movie projects and photo editing and studio-quality music that even just 10 years ago was not possible for them.

There is a future where computers are so fast, they can process software designed to reliably perform human tasks like look at the road and drive for me and avoid hitting bicyclists and squirrels. I could just tell it to touch up the photo I took. That's consumer hardware.

That's one of about a million scenarios that wouldn't happen if Intel and others were as afraid of segment shift as you appear to be.

HAS already happened. Look at the damn HW sales numbers.
The economy was bullish in the 90's and is garbage now. There's also this thing called saturation.

HAS ALSO already happened.
I don't know what to tell you. ARM has not advanced at a higher rate than x86.

As for your claim that i7s are NOT sold into previous Xeon markets
My answer was due to your use of the phrase "Xeon market." If someone needs Xeon performance, they need Xeon performance. It seems a little obtuse to say "I replaced a Xeon with an i7" when your Xeon could've been from 2002 or 2012.

Ultimately, it just seems fairly backwards to say that Intel shouldn't produce a low-power part simply because it'll get so fast the performance parts will become irrelevant. Not adapting is the worst business strategy I've ever heard of and it absolutely has less than zero merit in the computer field, where entire industries are eaten alive because they failed to adapt to the tech. The tech is going to emerge regardless -- it behooves Intel to be there when it does. They make CPUs.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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