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Intel CEO plans splash in smartphone chip market

Brian Krzanich has yet to determine what he wants to achieve in the smartphone business, but he sees opportunities outside the Western world.

Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Intel has had practically no presence in the smartphone chip market over the last several years, but that could change in 2015, the company's chief executive told Recode in an interview published Friday.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich acknowledged to Recode that his company has a minuscule stake in the smartphone chip market at the moment, but said that next year, he believes the chipmaker will be ready to build out its mobile operation and become a staple in phones outside of North America and Western Europe.

"The fastest growing market is China right now, and it is not dominated by a single player," Krzanich said.

Intel has been undergoing a dramatic change in the way it does business. For well over a decade, the company dominated the computing chip market and still does. However, it failed to adapt to the mobile space, where companies like ARM, Qualcomm, and others have reigned supreme.

More recently, Intel has built up its tablet-chip business and expects its processors to be running in 40 million slates this year. By the end of 2015, that figure could jump to 70 million tablets.

In smartphones, however, Intel is a non-factor. The company's chips are available in a few devices from other non-factors in the smartphone space -- Lenovo and Acer -- and it hasn't clearly shown to vendors its road map for changing its luck in that market.

Krzanich did little to quell any unrest in the marketplace with his comments to Recode. He said that he wouldn't predict the popularity of Intel chips in the coming year because he wants to see how the new technology progresses and how product partners feel about it.

CNET has contacted Intel for comment on its chief executive's comments. We will update this story when we have more information.

Intel shares are up 41 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $28.07 on Friday.