Ask any mobile consumer what processor is powering their device - chances are, they will come up empty. Bottom line, regardless of Qualcomm's innovations in mobile, they haven't heard of the Snapdragon. As much as Nvidia has invested to grow its strength in mobile graphics, "Tegra" is a word recognizable to few.
And yet, this may not always be the case - not if Intel has its way. As discussed in this article by Noel Randewich, Intel is looking to extend its "Intel inside" campaign into the world of mobile tech. Given the brand power companies such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and Google have amassed in the consumer mobile space, this may be a much more daunting task for Intel than it was back in 1991, when it launched this campaign in the PC space. Intel's first mission must be to develop a competitive mobile CPU, retaining the speed and performance we have grown to appreciate from Intel CPUs while minimizing heat output to fit in a mobile device. The company's track record thus far has been far from impressive in terms of targeting the mobile handset form factor.
And yet, of any player in the market, Intel clearly has the financial means and market influence to drive this type of initiative. Brian Favel, Intel's head of branding stated: "Without a doubt, my goal would be to have consumers walk into stores and have Intel Inside as a key driver of which phone or tablet they choose, just like we've done in the PC space." Shown above is a picture of an Orange phone powered by Intel's Atom processor.
We will have to wait to see how this plays out in the long term. Other players in the market such as Qualcomm or Nvidia may consider this strategy...as might certain companies that rarely earn any spotlight such as Imagination Technologies whose graphics power a healthy share of today's mobile devices or ARM - the architectural basis for most of today's mobile processors. VDC sees most device manufacturers being reluctant to share the spotlight with these component manufacturers - not until this would represent a strategic advantage for them as well. For now, the true market leaders are of course the leading OS vendors - Google and Apple, followed by Windows.