Texas Instruments exits consumer phones, lays off 1,700

TI is leaving the consumer smartphone business. And it won't participate in the consumer tablet market anymore.

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
TI's OMAP processors had been used in Motorola Droid phones and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets.
TI's OMAP processors had been used in Motorola Droid phones and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments is officially getting out of the consumer smartphone business, as major phone suppliers like Apple turn to internal chip designs.

"TI...will reduce costs and focus investments in its wireless business on embedded markets with greater potential for sustainable growth. Cost reductions include the elimination of about 1,700 jobs worldwide," TI said in a statement today.

While TI didn't mention any names, one of the most telling statements alluded to companies that are now designing their own chips. That would include Apple, which designs processors for its iPhone.

"Large customers are increasingly developing their own custom chips," TI cited as a reason to focus on embedded applications "with long life cycles."

Embedded systems include automative and industrial device markets.

At one time, Texas Instruments OMAP processors had been a mainstay in Motorola Droid phones and Amazon's Kindle Fire. And OMAP chips even made their way into Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2, among other tablets.

Its chips were also slated to appear in Windows RT tablets from vendors like Toshiba.