Intel Dials Up $31 With Smartphone Push

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Amid the slowdown of the PC market in 2011, Intel ( INTC) managed to maintain its dominant position as market leader of the PC microprocessor industry. Despite revenue declining by 7% quarter over quarter and 2% year over year in the first quarter, we are of the view that the company performed well in a tough market and has a lot in the current year to look forward to.

With the much awaited entry in the smartphone and tablets segments, the company competes with established ARM-based players such as Qualcomm ( QCOM), Nvidia ( NVDA) and Texas Instruments ( TXN).

See our complete analysis for Intel.

Intel Powered Smartphones

In January, Intel made announcements with Lenovo and Motorola at CES to launch Intel-powered smartphones, followed by announcing designs for Orange, ZTE and Lava at the Mobile World Congress in February. This week saw the launch of XOLO X900, world's first Intel-architecture-based smartphone, by Lava International.

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For more than a year Intel talked about making an aggressive push into the mobile computing space, challenging chip designer ARM Holding's dominance in the lucrative smartphone and tablet market. This year marks the entry of the largest chip maker in one of the fastest-growing technology segments of smartphones and tablets. Lava will soon be followed by Lenovo, which plans to launch its Intel-based smartphone by the end of May 2012.

According to research firm IDC, the smartphone shipments will grow from 494 million in 2011 to 1.16 billion in 2016. For 2012, it predicts that the worldwide smartphone shipment will reach 660 million.

Intel's share in the smartphone and tablet markets is not very significant; so we do not see the launch having a significant effect on its current price. However, considering the growing potential in this segment, the future launch of other Intel-based smartphones could increase its share in the smartphone and tablet segments.

Recovery From Hard Disk Shortage

Due to the flooding in Thailand in October 2011, the HDD market witnessed a year-over-year decline of 4.5% in 2011. The resultant supply shortage led to a downward trend in the industry which extended until first-quarter of 2012. As per IDC, the PC shipment grew by 1.9% in Q1 2012.

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