updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Intel says Google TV shipping in September
Intel chief Paul Otellini in an interview today [sub. required] confirmed that the first Google TV devices should start shipping in September. He didn't say whether the Logitech Revue or Sony's Bravia TVs, though Logitech has been the furthest in development. There are "many, many" other companies supporting the platform, the executive added.
He also tried to downplay the significance of losing the new Apple TV as a possible device now that it uses an ARM-based chip rather than Intel's Pentium M. Otellini felt that Jobs took a "step backward" by making the device less of a computer-like device. Google TV would be better since it was the "full Internet" melded with traditional TV. It uses a variant of Android that supports third-party apps but centers most on a full Chrome browser with Flash support that should theoretically allow most web video.
The CEO still thought the Apple TV could co-exist with Google TV but that the two would appeal to different audiences. Apple's hub would be useful for Otellini's mom because it's "simplistic," he contended, while Google's would appeal to those who wanted more.
"My son is probably going to go buy a Google TV, simply because it's cool," Intel's leader said. "He wants to be able to do his Facebook chat and talk to his friends saying, 'Hey, are you watching the game?' in real time. You cannot do that on Apple TV."
When introducing the new Apple TV, Steve Jobs claimed that viewers wanted to get away from a computer, not just have another one in front of the TV. Otellini didn't respond to this observation, nor did he address the issue of many already having media players, phones or tablets to check Facebook without interrupting the main screen.
He also tried to minimize Apple's near complete control of the tablet market, again using an ARM-based device in the iPad. Tablets wouldn't take over "by any stretch," Otellini insisted. He acknowledged that netbooks were slipping but estimated that about 40 million netbooks will have shipped by the end of 2010, or many more than Apple. No prediction was made for 2011, however. Analysts have predicted that tablets will outpace netbooks by 2012.
Intel was also billed as having a competitive answer soon, although Otellini didn't provide a clearer picture. The company is significantly behind Apple and other ARM users, as it won't have the tablet-ready Oak Trail platform for Atom chips ready until 2011, roughly a year after the iPad shipped. Tablets using Intel chips exist today but are usually convertible tablet notebooks, which usually sell poorly, or which come from small companies with little reach. Most of the tablets launching before the end of 2010 use ARM, and HP recently marginalized its Atom-based Slate by making it enterprise-only where its true flagship, a webOS device, will use an ARM variant.
Otellini is still confident Intel will have a competitive alternative. "[Our partners] are not going to let Apple run away with this one," he said.