Former Apple exec: PC 'in its twilight'

Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée is prognosticating doom and gloom for the PC, asserting that Intel needs to get competitive in the smartphone market or risk missing the transition to the post-PC world completely.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read

A former Apple executive has some harsh words for Intel, claiming the "PC market is in its twilight" and citing Intel's virtual absence in the smartphone market.

Jean-Louis Gassée. former president of the Apple Products Division.
Jean-Louis Gassée. former president of the Apple Products Division. Allegis Capital

Jean-Louis Gassée, a former Apple executive and now a general partner for Allegis Capital, wrote in his "Monday Note" blog that the PC market is in its death throes. His comments come after a rumor Web site claimed that Apple will abandon Intel processors in favor of processors based on the power-frugal ARM chip architecture.

"Now that the PC market is in its twilight, with mobile devices proliferating and stealing growth from the PC, surely Intel has to get into the race," Gassée wrote. While not mentioning Intel's power-efficient Atom processor by name, Gassée had harsh words for Intel's lack of competitiveness in the smartphone world--where its Atom chip is intended to compete.

"Let's consider Intel's complete absence from the mobile scene. Not a single smartphone contains an x86 processor," he wrote.

Gassée continues. "For the past four years, Intel has told us we'd see [Intel] x86 mobile devices Real Soon Now. The company developed its own mobile version of Linux, MobLin, and they made a big deal of joining forces with Nokia's Maemo to create MeeGo. But Nokia's new CEO, Stephen Elop, kicked Meego to the [curb]," he wrote.

Gassée goes on to write that ARM continues to out-maneuver Intel on the power-efficiency front.

He also cast doubt on the significance of Intel's 3D transistor announcement last week. "Will this be enough to unseat ARM? Most observers doubt it. The big news was received with an equally big yawn...We've been here before: The 'product' of the announcement is the announcement. (And there's the suspicion that 'breakthrough' revelations are an attempt to mask a lack of spanking new products.)," he wrote.