mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

TI Chickens Out Of Netbooks

It’s a bit of a facer to see Texas Instruments going frit on the Netbook market. But, according to Bloomberg earlier this week, TI’s wireless boss, Greg Delagi, has chickened out of the Netbook market before the Netbook market got started.

 

Last summer Delagi was making bullish noises about TI’s Netbook aspirations – pointing out that its OMAP platform uses 5X less power than an Intel Atom.

 

Even with an order of magnitude reduction in Atom’s power dissipation, Intel would be “still not in the ballpark of where they need to go,” said Delagi at that time.

 

Now he’s singing a very different tune: “We believe in the mobile computing market, but someone has to come in and try to figure out a different way to skin that cat”, he told Bloomberg, “I think you have to have your eyes open about what it would take to unseat Intel.”

 

Delagi went on to say that consumers’ familiarity with Windows meant it would be difficult non-Windows Netbooks to establish themselves.

 

He added that TI would stick to the smartphone market, and pass on the Netbook market.

 

He reckoned that looking for niches where Intel doesn’t compete was the answer.

 

“I’ve watched companies like AMD spend their whole lives in a full front assault, and I don’t have any interest in trying to do that,” Delagi told Bloomberg.

 

Not exactly the spirit which defended the Alamo but, after all, the Alamo wasn’t such a great result from the defenders’ point of view.

Tags: frit, Intel, mobile computing market, point of view, power dissipation

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5 Comments

  1. Arun Demeure
    October 09, 2009 08:47

    I can switch between qwerty and azerty (nearly) seamlessly :)
    More to the point though, consider that unless the ARM netbook market becomes huge very quickly, it’s effectively already saturated! Freescale/Qualcomm/NVIDIA all have or will have custom *chips* specialized primarily for it, and plenty of ODM design wins. It’s not clear what repurposing OMAP4 to the problem would do.
    Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me most people agree by now that the main OS options are Chrome and Windows CE, with a focus on the former starting in less than a year. These seem fairly reasonable to me; we’ll just have to wait and see how users react.

  2. Jim C.
    October 08, 2009 04:03

    It’s true, people want to use the same applications they do on their home PC or laptop, known overwhelmingly to run windows.
    WHY /should/ anyone bother to learn several different interfaces to get the same tasks done? It would make about as much sense as deciding to completely change the keyboard layout on a netbook then switch back and forth between that new layout and a conventional QWERTY every day.

  3. Mike Bryant
    October 07, 2009 23:59

    I’m afraid I agree with TI on this one. HP actually sell separate Netbooks configured with Windows or Linux and guess which one sells best.
    Of course if someone spent the effort to try to make a netbook as sexy as the iPhone supposedly is (sorry – I just use a phone to talk to people so it’s not for me) then perhaps people will move away from Windows but until then ….
    And sorry Google but Android is the classic ‘nul point’.

  4. David Manners
    October 07, 2009 17:18

    I do so agree, ombzzz, this is not in the spirit of the great Pat Haggerty and the great Mark Shepherd, but it’s symptomatic of an industry that has become timid, cautious and terrified of Intel.

  5. ombzzz
    October 07, 2009 16:39

    “Delagi [...] say that it would be difficult non-Windows Netbooks to establish themselves.”
    Classical chicken-and-egg problem:
    TI won’t do netbooks because it would be difficult non-Windows Netbooks to establish themselves.
    But
    It would be difficult non-Windows Netbooks to establish themselves, because TI won’t do netbooks.
    My humble suggestion to TI: be audacious ! don’t fear to break paradigms! ( do you know Google? )

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