Intel CEO says iPads are complementary, but don't replace PCs

by David Needle

April 17 2012

Intel CEO, shown here at CES, touts Ultrabooks that incorporate the touchscreen features of a tablet. (Photo: Intel)
Intel CEO, shown here at CES, touts Ultrabooks that incorporate the touchscreen features of a tablet. (Photo: Intel)

Intel CEO Paul Otellini commented on some tablet-related issues during the chip giant’s earnings call with financial analysts this afternoon.

Otellini was asked if thought emerging markets were more likely to buy Ultrabooks or tablets and how that would affect Intel’s pricing. 

“I don't think anyone in the world knows the answer to that question. If you look at people buying tablets today, particularly in the iPad arena, these are people that started out with PCs, and very often still use PCs,” he said. “It's a complementary device. How that unfolds two, three years from now, I don't think anyone knows.” 

Intel is the prime mover behind a new generation of Ultrabooks powered by its chips. Ultrabooks are lightweight notebook computers that can incorporate some tablet features such as touchscreen displays. Otellini alluded to those features in his additional comments. 

“What I am very excited about ... is this notion of bringing the convenience, the thinness, the instant-on capability and the touch of a tablet combined with the productivity, the compatibility and the usefulness of a keyboard into the same device,” he said. “You'll see a number of these shipping, second half of this year, as the energies of our (manufacturer customers) gets unleashed onto this category.” 

Otellini added that “it’s way too early to have a debate on ultrabook versus tablet because in fact, in my view, the long-term form factor is probably somewhere in between those two devices.” 

Intel's top exec also announced that the first smartphone based on Intel architecture chips will launch later this week, but provided no other details. At the January CES, the Intel chief showed off a prototype of a Lenovo smartphone powered by Intel’s chips. 

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