Intel Solutions Summit: Internet driving PC and tablet growth

User-generated content online opens new PC device opportunities, the chip vendor claims

Changing user behaviour through the Internet is providing new opportunities for the PC and tablet markets, according to Intel.

The vendor said it was experiencing double-digit growth on the PC front – a category which includes classic desktops, notebooks and netbooks – and predicted take-up would continue throughout 2010.

Although admitting channel growth was stymied by the global financial crisis over the past 12 months, the vendor was expecting positive changes this year.

According to Intel sales and marketing group general manager, Navin Shenoy, shifting Internet user behaviour towards producing content, and not just consuming it, spelt opportunities for the company and its channel partners.

He pointed to Facebook and YouTube as example of popular websites dominated by user generated content, which presented a windfall for PC suppliers. “PC is really the only device that meets the type of needs for the consumer,” Shenoy said.

He also highlighted the success of Intel’s new range of Core i3, i5 and i7 PC microprocessors as a good sign for the PC market. The processors have a high capability for producing multimedia content.

“In the four months since its release, this family of processors has ramped faster than any other processor families we have ever introduced and the channel has been ramping it up faster than another other segment of our customer base,” Shenoy said . On the mobile Internet front, Intel’s compact processor family, Atom, will enable the vendor to target the burgeoning tablet PC market.

Shenoy demonstrated an example of a tablet device produced by an Intel original device manufacturer (ODM) partner which he claimed would give Apple’s iPad e-reader a run for its money.

“The performance of the Atom processors will allow for richer content and faster Web page download,” he said.

Intel will release tablets to the channel later this year and partners will be able to rebrand the devices accordingly. The vendor’s tablet range will support Windows, Android and Intel’s open-source Meegos operating system.

A huge surge in the volume of Internet content means servers, which host the material, are another important segment for Intel and its partners.

Shenoy said about 80 per cent of the existing install base was ripe for a refresh and based on single-core technology.

Intel is banking its Xeon processors will draw in customers that want to consolidate servers and improve efficiency.

Shenoy said 15 single-core servers could be replaced by just one Xeon-based server.

Spandas Lui travelled to the Intel Solutions Summit as a guest of Intel.