updated 03:40 pm EST, Tue March 6, 2007
iPhone draws Intel praise
Apple's much anticipated iPhone consumer device is not only the darling of the media industry, but continues to spur discussion by industry executives. At the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco, the iPhone drew praise from Intel execs as a Windows alternative, while Motorola execs said it was no more than a niche device because of its high price. Intel's CEO Paul Otellini said that the iPhone is forcing a new wave of mobile device innovation, while validating the superiority of Unix-like systems on mobile devices over Windows. "Virtually every computer and handset manufacturer on the planet is struggling to figure out how to compete with Apple," Otellini said.
Apple's forthcoming iPhone offers far more features than competing mobile phones, and the Intel exec believes that handset manufacturers will have to switch to more powerful yet energy-efficient processors to compete, according to Computing.
Intel executives earlier this year said that CPU at the heart of Apple's iPhone is only tangentially an Intel processor. The iPhone, the Intel exec said, is driven by an Xscale processor, which found its inception at Intel but whose design was sold to the Marvell Technology Group in June of last year. Intel, however, will provide the NAND flash memory used for storage.
Intel, Computing notes, is developing an ultra low power micro-architecture based on the same Core chips that power Apple's desktops and laptops. It features integrated graphics and will be able to power mobile devices with a few milliwatts of power. The first version of the chip is slated for release later this year, according to the report, and will be able to run all existing applications and services.
Motorola reacts defensively to iPhone
Meanwhile, Apple's former mobile-phone partner Motorola CEO Ed Zander last week seemed to be on the defensive when answering questions about the iPhone. After calling it a niche player because of its high price point, Zander said the product could only be judged after it was available, but did marginalize the much touted touchscreen functionality, according to the MyiPhone blog.
"Let's see the product for goodness' sake," Zander told attendees at the Goldman Sachs' 2007 Technology Investment Symposium in Las Vegas last week. "It's like waiting for a baby."
"You won't like what I'm about to say, but you spend too much time in the U.S. Touchscreens have been in use in Asia for years," Zander said about the iPhone's touchscreen technology. "[The iPhone] is the Apple UI, a Mac-patched phone in your pocket."
Zander, however, conceded that Apple's phone may have merits as a consumer device, according to the report. "I'm sure it's a great phone."