Intel Fast Becoming BlackBerry Lite

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Research in Motion's (RIMM) collapse should have taught investors a thing or two about respect.

Respect for history and trends.

RIMM bulls floated every rationalization they could cherry-pick even while it was clear all hope was lost.

Let's get something straight before we move to second base: I am not suggesting Intel ( INTC) will experience hell as RIM has. It could, however, get incredibly close.

A major distinction divides the two companies.

RIM leadership, particularly Jim You Don't Need An App To Surf The Web Basillie, was either too incompetent, arrogant or a mix of both to realize it missed badly. RIM wrapped a tourniquet around the gushing artery also known as BlackBerry way too late. Now, RIM might not survive.

Intel actually has savvy management. I feel bad for these guys because, to a certain extent, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. I'm not sure you can hammer Intel for missing on mobile as hard as you can RIM for missing on everything.

Intel missed the Apple ( AAPL)-driven move to mobile devices as badly as the next guy. No question. But to have been able to catch it, seismic shifts needed to take place in that organization. Given the enormity of that operation, I'm not surprised Intel dropped the ball.

Unlike RIM, however, Intel management never made asinine statements about mobile being a fad. Intel never uttered the clueless equivalent of you don't need an app to surf the Web. If it did, I missed it.

Intel probably saw the writing on the wall earlier than we assume. Maybe the company simply wasn't/isn't nimble enough to move?

There's the benefit of the doubt, but no amount of finesse can change reality at Intel. The company is in big trouble, at least from a Wall Street perspective.

Recall my qualifier -- it's not as bad at Intel as it is/was at RIM and probably will not get that bad. But look at the zigzag lines on this comparison between the two companies. RIMM Revenue Quarterly Chart RIMM Revenue Quarterly data by YCharts

A while ago, RIM was on top of the world. Quietly kicking bum and taking names from the diminutive Canadian hamlet called Waterloo. Things turned sour faster than the last 10 years' worth of Toronto Maple Leafs' regular seasons.

Intel no longer kicks hind end but, unlike RIM, the jury remains out on whether or not it can continue to take names. Intel is in decline in many ways, particularly if you pay attention to the purple and darkish blue lines that indicate revenue growth.

Certainly reversible, but not good.

So the INTC bulls come at me with the same type of stuff the RIM bulls came at me with last year.

Intel still does billions in revenue every year! It's a cash cow. What? Do you think it's going to trade below book value, you idiot!?

RIMM does. Way below book value in fact.

Some guy on Twitter yelped in response to an article I wrote on Monday: Too bad that article completely dismisses the datacenter.

Right. And when bears dogged RIM, the bulls said we were ignoring the company's presence in the enterprise and its superior security relative to Apple and Android.

Whether it pleases IT geeks, soothes investors with on-paper losses in INTC or is fair or not, this stock will act and react to one thing and one thing only -- what happens to Intel as a chipmaker for PCs, Macs and mobile devices.

That's it.

Intel's going to need to post something better than 5.7% revenue growth, year-over-year, in its $2.5 billion Data Center Group to offset the 8.3% dump it experienced across the same period in its used to be $9.4 now it's $8.6 billion PC Client Group core. (Numbers via Intel's most recent 10-Q).

The dismal long and short of it says, as goes Microsoft ( MSFT), Windows 8 and the PC space, so goes Intel.

Given investor focus on consumer and enterprise PC, smartphone and tablet sales vis-a-vis INTC, AAPL, MSFT and RIMM, it's difficult to make a bull case for Intel beyond its heritage status and dividend yield.

As focus increasingly shifts to those two things, INTC becomes more of a value trap every day.

At the time of publication, Rocco Pendola held no positions in any of the stocks in this article.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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