NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Where the hell is Intel ( INTC)? Hey, Intel...you totally missed the smartphone revolution, and now you're nowhere to be found as the tablet trend pulls away from the station. You had to know the Internet and computing were going mobile, yet you just sat on your desktop prowess, proudly resting on your dual-core and quad-core laurels.
Apple ( AAPL) was your big shot at the action and you blew it. The iPad was in the works for what, 10 years and you didn't even park a development team in Cupertino just to show that you were interested, if nothing else? Sure, you beat AMD ( AMD) to a pulp. Big kudos to you for sending the only other PC chipmaker to the brink of elimination. Maybe, while you were paying all that attention to alleged bribes and kickbacks to PC makers like Dell ( DELL), you didn't notice that the future of processors had turned a corner. Of course you'll point to your strong work with Atom in netbooks as a victory. But that wasn't exactly your best work. And in retrospect, all you really did there was set processing back a whole generation. Now you say, "wait until Oak Trail next year." But tablet makers are saying, "thanks, but we've blazed our own trial." Oddly you had the cheaper, low-powered ARM ( ARMH) processing technology in your hand a decade ago, but it slipped through your fingers. ARM chips rule the sea of mobile phones, but you never found the bridge. In 2007, you sold your XScale business to Marvell ( MRVL), now a big player in tablets. Not to make you sound like a stereotype, but you sort of look like the doofy incumbent that gets blindsided by the cheaper faster upstarts in Clayton Christensen's tech disruptor story. Maybe this is just the natural course of life for monopolies -- you grow, you dominate, you lose your way. Unfortunately for investors, the direction is quite clear. It's marked "exit." --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.