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Intel chairman: I'm not embarrassed about mobile, unlike a year ago

Chairman Andy Bryant says the company is making progress in the area, despite continued hefty losses.

"I'm not going to teIl you I'm proud of losing the kind of money we're losing," Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said at an investor event. Screenshot by Ben Rubin/CNET

Intel has been having a hard time trying to claw its way into smartphones and tablets, losing billions of dollars along the way. But it's not done fighting yet.

Intel Chairman Andy Bryant kicked off an investor event Thursday by reinforcing his company's commitment to mobile regardless of all the red ink.

"I'm not going to tell you I'm proud of losing the kind of money we're losing," Bryant told a crowd of investors and analysts at the company's Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters. "But I'm also going to tell you I'm not embarrassed by it like I was a year ago about where we were."

He added that the company won't continue to accept losing so much money going forward and it will make improvements.

"This is the price you pay for sitting on the sidelines for a number of years, and then fighting your way back into a market," Bryant said. "We will get back in, we are getting back in."

Intel, the leading chipmaker for personal computers, has been spending heavily to get into the fast-growing mobile market so it can protect itself against slumping PC sales. That effort hasn't been all that successful so far, with rivals such as Qualcomm and MediaTek controlling large pieces of the mobile market already. Having another viable player could help drive down prices in mobile through added competition, as well as provide consumers with more options.

Intel still has a lot of work to do in mobile. Last month, Intel posted a $1 billion loss in the unit despite overall revenue and profit narrowly exceeding expectations. The company has said it expects losses in mobile to continue through next year. Saying it wants to integrate the mobile business more within the company, Intel on Monday said it will combine its mobile and PC chip groups.

For now, Intel has managed to get its mobile processors or modems into just a handful of products, including the Asus PadFone X Mini smartphone-tablet hybrid in the US and Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone in Europe and Asia. Many of its mobile sales are going to entry-level tablets, though it's had to offer subsidies to manufacturers as part of the deals.

Despite Intel's woes in mobile, its main businesses of selling chips for PCs and data centers continue to be strong. Intel's shares closed at $35.95, up nearly 5 percent, Thursday after the company predicted revenue growth for 2015 in the "mid-single digits," ahead of analysts' expectations.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Thursday he expects mobile sales will improve as the company introduces its new SoFIA smartphone chips next year and starts adding its RealSense 3D-camera technology into more mobile devices.

"We're in this business to win and we're in this business, not to lose money, but to make money in the long run," he said.