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Intel boss turns earnings call into iPhone flirt fest

Apple leaves better 'taste in mouth' than Qualcomm

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Intel boss Paul Otellini used its Q1 earnings call today to continue the chip giant's flirty pitch to build chips for Apple's iOS devices.

The vendor flagged up the launch of the first Intel-based smartphone, which is expected as early as next week.

However, Otellini also used its briefing with analysts to make a public pitch to build the chips Apple specs for its own iOS devices, repeating a refrain the vendor has been humming for at least a year.

One analyst asked Otellini if the dominance of Samsung and Apple left any space for Intel to build much of a business on the back of its latest foray into the handheld market.

Otellini said that even if Apple and its Korean-based sometimes-a-partner-sometimes-a-patent-court-opponent sewed up half the smartphone market, that would leave a substantial business for Intel to pitch for.

But, said Otellini, there was always the possibility that it could supply chips to either vendor. Samsung doesn't restrict itself to its own baked chips, he pointed out. As for Apple, "They know where we are," he said.

Pressed further on whether he would be interested in building chips for Apple, or indeed Qualcomm, he said.

"Anything is theoretically possible," he said, adding that when it came to "the taste in [my] mouth…Apple would be a lot more attractive than Qualcomm."

The dominant smartphone vendors weren't the only game in town, Otellini added. He said that the firm was talking to both OEMs and carriers. The latter were often interested in building their own white label products, and Intel already had a history with them from working on datacentres and networking infrastructure. ®

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