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Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation 231

Sandrina sends in an opinion piece from TechCrunch that discusses why mobile systems are developing so much faster than the PC market. The article credits Intel with allowing hardware innovation to stagnate, and points out how much more competitive the component vendor market is for smartphones. Quoting: "In PCs, Intel dictates the pace of hardware releases — OEMs essentially wait for CPU updates, then differentiate through inventory control, channel / distribution and branding. Intel and Microsoft win no matter which PC makers excel — they literally don't care if it's Asus, Dell or HP. In the smartphone world, it's the opposite. Dozens of component vendors fight each other to the death to win designs at smartphone OEMs. This competitive dynamic forms an entirely different basis for how component vendors approach system integration and support. Consider Infineon, which supplies the 3G wireless chipset in the iPhone. In order to stay in Apple's graces, Infineon must do everything necessary to help the hardware and software play well together, including staffing permanent engineers in Cupertino or sending a team overnight from Germany. Do you think Intel does this for Dell?"
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Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation

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  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:38PM (#32644250)

    In order to stay in Apple's graces, Infineon must do everything necessary to help the hardware and software play well together, including staffing permanent engineers in Cupertino or sending a team overnight from Germany. Do you think Intel does this for Dell?"

    To the best of my knowledge, dell is at most an assembler of parts, at their least they're a rebrander. I would agree there is utterly no point in stationing VLSI engineers and RF analysts at Dell, because those guys belong at the board level designers and board manufacturers. []

    It would be pointless overkill; like GM stationing a permanent automotive engineer at my local car dealership to oversee oil changes.

    I also thought it interesting that Dell is closing the last of their assembly plants in the USA. Kind of hard to call it an American company if everything they do is overseas, except the expensive overhead of upper management. I would not anticipate a bright future for Dell because their only differentiation against their foreign competition would be extremely expensive upper management compared to their competitors.

  • Laptops (Score:4, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:39PM (#32644274) Homepage Journal
    If you think "size and battery capacity" are "constraints that never applied to PCs", then I highly doubt that you have ever owned a laptop.
  • Re:It's About Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:51PM (#32644394)

    Mobiles have been around for over 20 years. I got my first one in 1988 and they *have* come a long way since.

    Yes, they have come a long way but a huge chunk of it has been the last few years. There weren't that many "breakthroughs" after the Palm & Newtons until the mobile handsets started trying to resurrect their functionality.

    However, unlike PCs, mobile phones have always been more restricted by size and battery capacity. Constraints that never applied to PCs.

    These are some of the most important hurdles for mobile computing to clear. It's a mishmash of extended battery life supported by CPU efficiency supported by OS's that treat power conservation as a priority to get more out of smaller batteries with extended life ...

    The smaller sizes also make a difference, but they can't get too small or we won't be able to interact with them. Things haven't gotten much smaller than an old Palm but they've crammed more and more into them (they do the same thing to laptops & desktops).

  • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @03:02PM (#32644520)

    ah, but think how much they get from you.

    iPhone : $$$ plus monthly voice, text and data tariffs and then you go and buy another one in 1-2 years time.

    Dell: $300 for a desktop PC. One off payment.

    There's money to be made in the mobile marketplace, whereas the desktop one is saturated with lowest-possible-price units.

  • by overlordofmu ( 1422163 ) <> on Monday June 21, 2010 @04:14PM (#32645374)
    turbudostato is missing the point.

    I shit you not, my mod point expire and then I see this post that needs an insightful mod.

    In 1995 there was the beautiful CPU called the Alpha. It was faster than anything offered by Intel. It was RISC and not CISC. It didn't boot into 16-bit mode and then require the OS to do work to access 32 bit registers. It was a 64 bit CPU when all the Intel and AMD processors were 32. It had 32 registers for both floating point and integer arithmetic. That is 64 registers for data, people. Even today's Intel CPUs don't have a data register count like that. It was a shining example of a beautiful CPU that was not based on old tech and trying to be compatible with something from 1981. It was good. It was right. It was the furture. It was the best, fastest general purpose CPU on the fucking planet.

    And what happened? That is right! It fucking died because Intel's crappy Pentium had all the market share and there was no volume on Alpha sales. The monopoly's shit tech won and the better CPU disappeared down the hole. Mature, "stablished" means good-old-boy in the context. In the tech world, we pick tech because it works better, not because it is the kind your daddy used back in the day. Your comment is that of an asshat, turbidastato, an asshat.

    Randomluser, thank you for wisdom to the unwashed massed of Intel ass-lickers. LONG LIVE THE ALPHA! GET OFF OF MY LAWN!!!

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