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Intel's mobile ambitions are getting a big boost courtesy of Samsung.
Although Intel dominates in the server and PC processor markets, it is eclipsed by chip designer ARM in the exploding smartphone and tablet scene. Battery-friendly processors based on ARM architectures power the vast majority of today's popular mobile devices, from the Apple's iPhone and iPad to Samsung's own Galaxy smartphone and tablet offerings.
To date, Intel-based mobile devices have been few and far between. But now, reported Reuters, the South Korean electronics giant is preparing to make room in its mobile portfolio for Intel's mobile tech.
An anonymous source told the news outfit that Samsung will incorporate Intel's Clover Trail+ mobile processor into at least one Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 tablet. In keeping with tradition, the new Intel-based Galaxy Tab will also reportedly run Android.
Samsung, which has emerged as a strong rival to Apple, could help Intel notch gains in the mobile device market, a scene that has largely eluded the company. "The Asian electronics giant's decision to begin using Intel in a marquee Android device counts as a coup for the US chipmaker as it races to establish itself in a mobile market it was slow initially to recognize and invest in," noted Reuters' Noel Randewich.
Despite the win, Intel still faces an uphill battle.
"Applications processors based on technology from ARM and designed by Qualcomm Inc, Samsung and Nvidia now dominate a market that research firm Strategy Analytics estimated could hit $25 billion by 2016 versus $9 billion in 2011," wrote Randewich. Meanwhile, Intel must also brave both a dwindling PC and a challenging server market.
According to an IDC forecast, global PC shipments will tumble 7.8 percent this year to 321.9 million units from 349.2 million in 2012. Although expected to bounce back somewhat in 2017 -- to 333.4 million units -- vendors will fall considerably short of the market's peak in 2011 when they shipped 363 million PCs.
The first quarter of 2013 got off to a rough start for server makers. IDC pegged global first quarter 2013 server revenue at $10.9 billion, a 7.7 percent drop on year-over-year basis. Gartner's figures point to a somewhat less dramatic decline of 5.0 percent on revenues of $11.8 billion.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.