This must have left Intel feeling rather sad and blue, and plotting a comeback, but when we caught up with ARM’s Bob Morris last week, he explained where Intel had really missed the tablet boat and why his firm remained better positioned to lead the transition into this next generation of computing.
Morris confided in us that Intel had finally dropped the term MID, saying “it really comes down to what we’ve been saying from the beginning when they came out with it, which is ‘mobile internet is a feature, not a device’.”
“If you look at an e-reader, if you look at the definition, it has mobile internet in it, even the simplest one like the Kindle has 3G and you’re able to download the book, look at the book, purchase the book and carry out a transaction,” he said.
Intel’s Netbooks and Qualcomm’s smartbooks, he explained, also both had that that capability, but then again, so does an ipod touch, “so I don’t think you can say that ‘now is the year of the MID’ because a lot of this stuff has been evolving for a while.”
“What we’re really seeing,” said Morris, “is that we’re waiving this PC era and going into the next stage of computing.”
Not that this means the PC is about to become defunct, but much in the way the world went from mainframes to PCs two decade or so ago without making the mainframe completely obsolete, “what we’re doing now is that we’re moving to an area where more and more devices that are out there will be connected to the Internet and they do different things for you.”
“The tablet will probably redefine what a lot of people want to do,” he went on, noting that it was a lot more suited to quick browsing and a sort of ‘fast-food’ content consumption model more suited to our ridiculously short attention spans these days.
So, will tablets kill the Kindle/e-reader store? “I really don’t know,” was Morris’ response.
“With e-readers, an extremely rapid evolution is occurring, a hyper evolution has been happening over the past six months,” he told us, discussing how screen technology was rapidly changing and how power kept coming further and further down.
“There’s some stuff out there that’s extremely low power, almost like the e-ink that will be able to do updates like you would be able to do for standard screen, so we may be at a point where you may be using something not just as a tablet, but also as your e-reader. There could be blurring that happens here,” he admitted.
But in the long run, Morris conceded “when things settle down, there might only be a couple of classes of different devices out there.”
Morris, obviously a fan of social not-working, told TechEye most people’s lives – and we use the term lightly - today revolved around “tweets and blogs and facebook and things like that.” This, he said, meant people just wanted to open up their device and have it “ready to go.”
“It’s not like, open the thing up, acquire the signal, authenticate, download, and see where things are. You may only have a four or five minute break and you want to see what’s going on,” or watch some pR0n on your fag break.
“Whether it’s a smartbook or a tablet thing, I think you’re going to see those types of things happen,” Morris asserted.
“People will be able to go to consume their internet or facebook or whatever type of thing that they want to do and they’ll be able to do it in little time slices. They’ll always be updated. That will be the future, whether it will be a tablet or a clam or who knows what, it could even be your e-reader.”