At Computex this past week, no fewer than 12 new tablet PCs were
introduced, or at least showcased behind glass for the first time.
That's a lot of iPad
competition, and while most of them won't be
shipping for at least a few months, there's no doubt that Apple has a
huge target on their back. Most of these tablets ran either Android
Windows 7, but only time will tell how well either of those systems can
do on a tablet form factor. But aside from the software story, there's a
rather large hardware story as well. Many of these tablets were shown
at Intel's booth, and while a few had chips from ARM and Qualcomm
clear that Intel doesn't plan on being left out. After all, that's why
they introduced "Oak Trail."
But if Intel's getting into the tablet
PC chip game, doesn't that mean
that their main rival in the consumer realm should be following closely
behind? Not so fast. According to general manager of Products Group Rick
isn't really in a hurry to follow the leader and play
bandwagon chaser. The company views the new tablet market as a growing
one, with an unsettled ecosystem and a questionable future. Bergman
stated that his company is "still evaluating the tablet PC market and
will wait until market demand
starts to appear before joining," commenting that AMD plans to go
full-throttle into the netbook market in the time being.
We know some of you may be shocked to hear the news, or downright angry
that AMD is ignoring such a huge potential market. But should you be?
AMD has followed Intel for a long while, often times coming up with
chips that are "too little, too late." Those kinds of mistakes are
costly, and chasing a tail around hinders a company's ability to focus
on a core set of products that they can innovate on. On that note, we're
glad to see AMD holding back. The netbook market is clearly more
proven, and if AMD can get a foothold in that with their Fusion APU,
they could begin raking in cash for use in R&D elsewhere. AMD
doesn't really have the resources that Intel does to chase every rabbit
down their hole, and we're glad to see the company taking a step back
and closely evaluating this decision. In the long run, AMD may be able
to pull ahead elsewhere as it focuses on other key areas while Intel
tries to catch up in the tablet market place. We'll see who was right in
a year or two, most likely.