Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

Summary: The company has extended the olive branch over claims by two execs that inadequate ARM chips cause the iPhone to be slow

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Chipmaker Intel has released an apology for comments made by its executives this week on the inadequacies of the iPhone and the ARM processor driving it.

At the company's developer forum in Taipei, Shane Wall, Intel's vice president of the mobility group and director of strategic planning, platform architecture and software in the ultramobility group, had remarked on the iPhone's performance.

"Any sort of application that requires any horsepower at all and the iPhone struggles," he said.

Pankaj Kedia, director of ecosystems for Intel's ultramobility group, blamed the device's lack of speed on the phone's ARM processor. "The shortcomings of the iPhone are not because of Apple. The shortcomings of the iPhone have come from ARM."

Intel senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher yesterday issued what he said was a correction of the executives' words, saying that Intel's Atom processor had not yet matched the battery-life characteristics of the rival ARM processor for devices the size of a phone.

"While Intel does have plans on the books to get us to be competitive in the ultra-low-power domain, we are not there as yet," he said.

The olive branch was also extended to Apple. "Secondly, Apple's iPhone offering is an extremely innovative product that enables new and exciting market opportunities."

Chandrasekher said the comments made by Intel executives Shane Wall and Pankaj Kedia this week at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei had been inappropriate and that Intel representatives should not have commented on specific customer designs.

The comments came just as Apple reported that booming sales of the device made it account for 39 percent of the company's business.

Apple hasn't been frightened to give Intel the cold shoulder in the past, such as earlier this month when it said the new Apple MacBook and MacBook Air will both come with Nvidia graphics instead of the Intel integrated graphics used in older models.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Intel, iPhone, Mobility, Processors, Security

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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10 comments
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  • Well, it shows a little class to apoligize. Arm for the at least the the

    foreseeable future has a much better product for this category. Actually, Intel really has nothing right now.

    But, we are looking forward to fierce competition and getting the performance up to the levels that Intel was talking about, and even using less power that the current Arm chips.
    DonnieBoy
    • Intel was right though

      Notice they didnt take anything back or say the original staements were incorrect. They just say iPhone was innovative anyway and that they were competitive power wise yet.

      It's dreaming to say ARM based products will be better for the foreseeable future less you can foresee next year. Do you foresee Intel getting competitive with AMD yet? :-)
      Johnny Vegas
      • Intel has NOTHING in this catagory right now. Intel is NOT an option right

        now. Sure, someday, they might have something low power, but, they do NOT have it yet. For the foreseeable future, Arm beats Intel hands down in the category.

        Now, we DO welcome more competition. We are hoping for something very powerful that uses even less power the current Arm designs.
        DonnieBoy
        • Foreseeable Future?

          I know Intel has nothing now. That's a given. I had a typo (were/weren't) but the context was sufficient to figure that out. What I'm saying is that you have to be brain dead to believe arm based products will be much better for the foreseeable future.

          Can you truly not foresee Intel coming out with power competitive (if not better) processors? Even with their strategic targeting of smartphones, MID's, wimax, etc, for market growth? Not even in 5 years? Or 10? or 20?

          I foresee it. In fact I bet it's not far away. I bet it's less than 2 years away and I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple move to it if they're still on Intel for laptops then.

          I think you need to Windex your crystal ball...
          Johnny Vegas
      • Intel's atom is crude...

        ARM Processors have been around in the mobile market for a while now. And The Iphone is decent for what it does, there are better ARM based processors out there as well.. Nvidia's Tegra is a pretty amazing chip. very capable of multitasking while continuously streaming 720i media content. The chip can do this for 36 hours continuously, and also can randomly access other tasks while playing content.. The Iphone's ARM processor may be a little older and dated.. but if that is what Intel is aiming to beat, they are going to get their asses handed to them by alot of other ARM based chipsets!
        -PP
        pocketpower
  • RE: Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

    Very unprofessional from the Intel's executives. I am former Intel Employee and that kind of behavior is not part of Intel's culture. Rumors like that can jeopardize the business and create a crisis. The best way that Intel can apologize is buy removing and relocating these executives.
    MAAColomer
  • More than likely it's just Asian "saving face".

    It has nothing to do with the truth.

    After all, I've been to Intel road shows for PC CPUs and they slam AMD all the time. It's part of the script.

    So what's the difference? Location. Atlanta not Taipei.

    And throw in the fact that Apple switched to Intel's CPUs for their PCs so now Apple is a major customer of Intel's.

    As the old saying goes, it's a "tempest in a tea pot".

    Terry Thomas
    President
    PC Tech Support
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    AtlantaTerry
  • RE: Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

    ARM cpus are so far ahead in this segment that Intel will never catch them. Intel are still holding onto the x86 baggage with the Atom and so RISC/embedded processors will always have an advantage in this segment. Why do you think Microsoft , Sony and Nintendo all went to PowerPC for games consoles? And the Nintendo DS (the best seller) has two ARM processors.
    applepear
  • RE: Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

    yes at least, with all this healthy competition,
    processors won't end up costing an arm and a leg.

    sorry couldn't walk away from an open pun opportunity
    :)
    justinlawrence
  • RE: Intel apologizes to Apple, ARM for iPhone attack

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    connie sandoval