Who is winning CES 2014: Qualcomm or Intel?

Who is winning CES 2014: Qualcomm or Intel?

Summary: Based on presentations and results thereafter from the last few editions of CES, the immediate takeaway is that Intel has been on the way down while Qualcomm has seen its star rise.


Compared to just a few years ago, there are few power players now amid a heavily trafficked sea of smaller tech companies floating around at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

Two of the biggest (if not the biggest) players working to power the vast majority of the devices debuting at the Las Vegas trade show this week are Intel and Qualcomm.

Based on presentations and results thereafter from the last few editions of CES, the immediate takeaway is that Intel has been on the way down while Qualcomm has seen its star rise.

That narrative continued on Monday as each processor giant unveiled new and revised strategies to tackle the item at the top of the agenda this week: the Internet of Things.

The only way that all of those millions upon billions of mobile devices, sensors and apps are going to talk to each other to support the vision and promise of the Internet of Things is to build and embed a common architecture among them. Qualcomm and Intel, among others (such as Nvidia) want to serve as that common architecture.

Intel's problem is that it gets bogged down by the emotional rhetoric and technical theories that might work in at press conferences centered around new datacenters.

But that line of advertising doesn't sell well at the largest consumer tech event on the planet. Unfortunately for Intel, that was what was on display during what appeared to be a very lackluster presentation at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center yesterday.

Such a pattern has become evident since Intel made a splash with a surprise shift towards mobile at CES 2012. Yet there has been little positive of anything on that front since.

In contrast, Qualcomm's strength is that it is simply better at getting its message across to just about everyone, from the media to analysts to OEM partners and consumers alike.

Certainly in announcing its new chipsets, Qualcomm has also dipped into some Internet of Things rhetoric/connected devices mumbo jumbo and more.

But the semiconductor company has kept such talk to a minimum in comparison while serving up more (and often times better) concrete examples of new chips designed to support this long-term vision.

This isn't to say that Intel should just bow out now as Qualcomm has already sealed the deal.

Qualcomm has made it clear that its objective is to move beyond powering its current sweet spot of just smartphones and tablets, but rather every possible connected device from the living room to the garage. Such a plan is very ambitious -- if not excessive and beyond reason just yet.

It's just that Qualcomm has done a better job in making its case to the public that it has laid the groundwork to support the dream of the Internet of Things.

If anything, CES itself is all about getting the message out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Oh, and as flashy as possible too.

Qualcomm certainly achieved the first two better than Intel. But typically no one can beat Sony when it comes to flashy.

Topics: CES, Hardware, Intel, Mobility, Processors

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  • Strange Article

    All I got out of the article is that Intel fails to communicate and QUALCOMM does better.
    What I don't get that is ironically strange is how those statement ties in with CES 2014 presentations and facts about the presentations that leads to that conclusion.

    Seems to me Rachel King is the one not communicating.
    Alfred Soyemi
  • intel

    Intel has done tons of help to Macs, qualcomm is whiney calling features 5s brought in new ways he calls gimmick!
    Raleigh Brecht
    • intel is overpriced

      Qualcomm took back what the said about mobile 64 bit computing being a gimmick. I don't think the 64 bit computing is a gimmick, but just Apple's implementation. It doesn't even have at least 4gb to take advantage of it. Until they get 4gb ram, it will remain a gimmick
      • Re: [the Apple 5S] doesn't even have .. 4gb to take advantage [of 64-bit]

        Oh dear. As long as we have the ignorant posting drivel like this, I’ll be poised with my benchmarks showing that the deal-core Apple 5s chipset is faster than anything else available, even with its lower frequency and less than 4gb of RAM:

        The Apple 5s is faster than any other (ARM-based) phone or tablet on sale.

        That’s not a “gimmick”: it’s a “punch in the guts,” to quote a Qualcomm executive.
  • Intel is living in the 1990s

    Datacenters? Seriously?

    Nobody with half a brain wants to own a datacenter any more, there is no need.

    Cloud services are PROVEN to be more flexible, more powerful, and, in a mobile world more desireable.

    Oh, not to mention: CHEAPER!

    Intel is still selling snake oil...
    • Intel Understands...

      Well Sir,

      I'd like to mention that not ALL industries are going to the cloud & mobile devices.

      The Engineering industry with various CAD programs, the Accounting world, Medical/Biotech, Entertainment, etc... Not all of them are looking to get into the cloud & mobile workflows because of sensitive & proprietary info, that has the potential of being hacked from the cloud, not to mention the HUGE number crunching software (& graphics) platforms that are required with such industries.

      Nobody is going to design a Microchip plant, or a create the content for major 3D movies on a tablet or Android device anytime soon! (it won't fit on an SD card...)
      Yru Idjits
    • They are also proven to be less reliable or secure.

      So pick your feature - you won't get reliability and secure at the same time as "cloud".
    • Magic cloud

      Is it just me or does the cloud infrastructure rely on datacenters? Where do you think all the data goes, a magic cloud in the sky?
      Nicolae Anghel
  • There is no information in this post...

    Internet of things is nothing more than marketing garbage... everything has been on the net for a long time and everything does use similar protocols... making everything work together is about SOFTWARE not about HARDWARE. And everything running wirelessly... well thats been like that for a while... what else can really go wireless, that has any need to be wireless?
    Also I love how the blogger doesnt mention AMD at all considering how much they have done in the embedded market in the past couple years... And how they are better equipped than Intel to go into the foray of handsets and other things because their tech works with everything, most of it is open and based on open standards.... its low power and has the GPU power to run every screen of every size... supporting all the graphics languages aswell and its CPU's are more than powerful enough for every day tasks in every form factor....
  • This is pathetic, really...

    Qualcomm's press conference was just a short Q&A with the COO, and they made no significant announcements at the show other than a press release earlier in the day on a chipset for cars. Intel demonstrated some very real new technology and usage models around perceptual computing using voice and gesture controls, announced a smart headset, new earbuds that track heart rate and don't need external charging, a wireless charging 'bowl' with no wires, a full Pentium-class computer that fits on an SD card, and free McAfee security products for mobile. Among other things. This is what happens when a) reporters dont pay attention, and b)try to cover major trade shows from offices in San Francisco vs being on the ground.
  • Winning?

    What is this a Charlie Sheen reprise?

    How exactly would chip makers win the Consumer Electronics Show??? Consumers don't really buy CPUs or SOCs and chips. Engineers make those decisions nearly a year or more in advance of the CES for devices presented there.

    Intel or Qualcomm winning??? Charlie Sheen is calling and wants his colloquialism back.
    • Speak for yourself.

      I buy processors for myself now and then.

      Doing so, I count as a "consumer".
  • Qualcomm communication is a disaster

    At least Intel has a video recording of their press event and keynote, nothing so far for Qualcomm, and each time Qualcomm releases a PR it's useless. They just says they've got a new processor, give the name, and leave most tech details out.

    I'm a blogger, and I just hate covering Qualcomm news since there is always very little to report.
  • Qualcomm doesn't need great PR

    ...their designs show up in real products, the sales numbers talk for Qualcomm. Loud and clear.
    Tony Burzio