Intel’s chips have become even more dominant in the PC market during Otellini’s tenure, helping to boost the company’s annual revenue from US$39 billion in 2005 to US$54 billion last year. However, Apple’s pioneering work in smartphones and tablet computers also muddled Intel’s future. Both the iPhone and iPad inspired a wave of sophisticated handheld devices that are undercutting demand for desktop and laptop machines that house Intel processors.
Most tablets rely on a technology licensed from British chip designer ARM Holdings PLC. Even Microsoft has tweaked the latest version of the Windows operating system so it works on ARM chips.
Other chipmakers such as Qualcomm Inc have developed less expensive microprocessors that have eclipsed Intel in the smartphone market. The contrasting performances of the two companies’ stocks enabled Qualcomm to surpass Intel as the world’s most valuable chipmaker. Qualcomm’s market value now stands at about US$106 billion versus US$100 billion for Intel.