Intel: Customers have 'lots and lots' of tablet designs

Senior VP says customers are working diligently on designs. And Intel should know. It supplies the core silicon to virtually every PC maker in the world.

LAS VEGAS--2010 indeed many the year of the tablet. Intel Senior Vice President Sean Maloney said his company's customers are working diligently on tablet designs.

And Intel should know. It supplies the core silicon to virtually every PC maker in the world. "We have lots and lots of tablet designs going down with our customers," said Maloney in an interview Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Intel Senior VP Sean Maloney speaking at CES Thursday
Intel Senior VP Sean Maloney speaks at CES Thursday. Brooke Crothers

Maloney favors the larger size tablets. "It seems likely to me that you have a large screen. And you want a pure Internet experience," he said about potential tablet designs. "The larger the screen, the more likely you are to want to connect peripherals lying around your home," Maloney said.

Maloney would not give any specifics about shipment dates, but some tablets could be expected to appear later this year. And he wouldn't predict if the tablet would be a hit. "The closer you get to the consumer design, the more fickle and unpredictable it is. Some companies like Apple have a track record of getting it right. I think prudently you wait to see what happens," he said.

He also addressed the ultrathin laptop, which vies with the Netbook for customers at retailers. "It took longer for (ultrathins) to take off than we thought. We thought it was going to be a Netbook-style ramp. But that didn't happen. But then September, October, November, things definitely picked up. There was was substantial increase in volume in the fourth quarter over the third quarter. I think they are firmly ensconced as a type (of laptop)."

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