updated 08:04 pm EDT, Mon September 24, 2012
Intel hopes 'Inside' brand will spur mobile adoption
Chipmaker Intel is looking to increase its branding efforts in an attempt to better compete with the ARM-based processors that currently dominate the mobile device market. As Reuters reports, Intel's placement of its "Intel Inside" logo on smartphones bearing Intel processors appears to be touching off a branding competition among other chipmakers, including Intel, Qualcomm, and Nvidia. Intel has struggled to compete in the mobile sector, having been too slow to approach the market initially, but persons within the company believe that the company may be able to carry over at least some of its brand cache from the personal computer sector to mobile devices.
The Intel Inside logo has shown up on an increasing number of smartphones this year, including the Santa Clara, which Intel unveiled earlier this year in partnership with Orange. That smartphone, like others bearing the Intel mark, is based on Intel's mobile-targeted Atom processor. The company is also working on rolling out devices based on a dual-core Medfield-class Atom chip later this year. Among the first of those will be the RAZR i, an Intel-based variant of Motorola's RAZR M.
Intel's branding efforts have so far been targeted at models hitting the British, Indian, and Russian markets. The company believes that the United States represents an opportunity, though, as Intel already has a good deal of brand awareness in that country. It is hoped that consumers will carry over their knowledge of Intel's PC processors -- Intel Inside is, according to Intel's surveys, associated with quality and performance in the US -- to the company's forthcoming devices.
Intel's insistence on putting its brand on devices featuring its components is somewhat new in the mobile sector. Typically, branding on mobile devices is the purview of the device manufacturers and wireless carriers. Apple, notably, allows for no branding on their devices aside from their own. Intel's competitors are comparatively unknown among consumers, and the company hopes that its established brand identity -- in addition to the $2.1 billion per year spent on advertising and marketing -- will allow it to carve out share in what has become an essential segment.
Other chip industry players aren't ceding the marketing game to Intel, however. Qualcomm will begin a new branding campaign in October, though how much the company will spend is unknown. Nvidia, too, has increased its marketing efforts, though it has yet to go so far as to put its name on the back of a device.