Intel retracts 'inappropriate' statements about ARM, iPhone

Intel execs at this week's Developer's Forum made derisive remarks about the ARM chips used in most smartphones -- including the iPhone -- saying they made devices "not very smart." Another executive then issued a retraction of sorts.

Shane Wall, VP and director of strategic planning, platform architecture and software for Intel's Ultra Mobility Group; and Pankaj Kedia, director of ecosystems of the Ultra Mobility group, engaged in a discussion after Wall's keynote at IDF on Tuesday. There, the execs blamed the deficiencies of both the Apple iPhone, and smartphones as a whole, on ARM chips.

"The shortcomings of the iPhone have come from ARM," Kedia was quoted by ZDNet Australia as saying. "Any sort of application that requires any horsepower at all, and the iPhone struggles...If you want to run full Internet, you're going to have to run an Intel-based architecture."

However, the same day, Anand Chandrasekher, the senior VP and GM of Ultra Mobility, gave a keynote speech where he said the full pocketable Internet is not possible even for Intel, although it's now working on the "fundamental innovations" that will make it possible.

Chandrasekher even made an official correction of his co-workers' statements, going so far as to say ARM's low-power processors are actually superior to Intel's at present.

Intel's PR Chip Shots blog this morning reads: "As general manager of the Group responsible for Intel's ultra-mobility products, [Chandrasekher] acknowledged that Intel's low-power Atom processor does not yet match the battery life characteristics of the ARM processor in a phone form factor; and, that while Intel does have plans on the books to get us to be competitive in the ultra low power domain, we are not there as yet. Secondly, Apple's iPhone offering is an extremely innovative product that enables new and exciting market opportunities. The statements made in Taiwan were inappropriate, and Intel representatives should not have been commenting on specific customer designs."

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