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Intel touts record fall quarter, but iPad effect evident

updated 05:30 pm EST, Thu January 13, 2011

Intel Q4 2010 hits record but Atom near flat

Intel today posted record results for the fall that nonetheless illustrated a pronounced effect from the iPad and other tablets. Its net profit was up 48 percent year-to-year and 10 percent sequentially, to $3.4 billion, but was owed almost exclusively to its large-scale server group and investments. Its revenues for both Atom chips and its regular processors were both flat compared to the summer.

The discrepancy was reflected in the company's yearly performance. Although its computer processor, datacenter and other chip architecture groups were up 21, 35 and 27 percent respectively compared to 2009, the Atom group's revenue was up just eight percent.

Atom processors and their companion chipsets cost less than their full-power counterparts but until this year were still strong components of Intel's results due to volume. The category has been in decline for much of the year due in part to customers buying iPads instead. Early estimates for PC sales in the fall have shown a huge drop for Acer as its over-reliance on its Aspire One netbooks may have cost it over a quarter of its computer sales. Dell and HP, which have leaned on netbooks to a lesser extent, also dropped in key areas.

Some of the drop may have come from a widely perceived oversaturation and lack of differentation. As the prices of full size, full performance notebooks have edged closer, buyers have had less incentive to buy the smaller, slower but fundamentally similar designs. Intel has also had trouble improving the performance in the past two years as most Atom chips are still 1.6GHz single-core processors, while most netbooks still have 1GB of RAM and 250GB or less in hard drive space.

The company is still the dominant full processor designer but is thought by many to have missed its chance to get in on tablets, having only just launched its more tablet-ready Oak Trail (Atom Z600) design in 2011. Officials have partly blamed Microsoft for the problem since it hasn't had a truly tablet-optimized full OS and might not until Windows 8 in 2012.

Intel is poised to thrive in 2011 based mostly on its second-generation Core processors, which beyond main speed improvements have much faster graphics that reduce the need for dedicated video.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Joe05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    While the ipad has seen great success this past year, say 14 million iPads sold would only make a slight dent in the 350 million PC sales numbers.

    You're not actually presenting any Data to show that this is fact,Tablets in all likelihood will begin to affect the PC market in different ways this year, iPad and Android variants combined.

    But no, the iPad isn't the sole cause.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011



    don't say things like that here or you're going to get downvoted.


  1. simon42

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This data can't be twisted enough to make haters r

    Atom profits still up? How can we explain that when according to this site, tablets are so infinitely superior to netbooks?!

    Netbooks sold amazingly well for 2 years and achieved numbers the iPad will never achieve. Now the balloon is obviously deflating - and that's not really news since any new product will eventually stop expanding exponentially after the first wave of sales to people who didn't have it - but the real news is that profits are STILL up!

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LOL ok this site is seriously becoming retarded

    Every article about every company out there has the same drooling claims:

    "IPad Effect", "iPod/iPhone Effect"....

    The only real data to support the claims are the sales of netbooks dropping, and I doubt thats from the iPad considering the price difference in the two markets!

    Seriously who in their right mind would think "well gee maybe I should spend $500+ on an iPad instead of 200-300 on a netbook!?!?" ... They are totally different ends of the spectrum due to pricing.

    At the selling price of the iPad it should be hurting traditional laptop/desktop sales not netbooks.

    Atom sales have dropped I'd wager due to the product itself. Until recently it hasn't been powerful enough for markets where it would be ideally suited (HTPC ITX based systems, low power consumption servers). As that changes Intel will see the Atom grow and mobile devices running Atom would def help.

    The people writing the garbage on this site need to start thinking 'outside' the box , there is a h*** of a lot more to the tech world than what Apple INC. is doing.

    Seriously... THINK DIFFERENT for once.

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