Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) chief Paul Otellini made waves today with a series of pronouncements at a presentation happening out in San Francisco. So far, the headlines seem to boil down to two points:
"Google and Intel, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-..."
Headline No. 1 is that Intel will partner with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) to "optimize" the performance of Android mobile-phone software on Intel chips. Henceforth, Google says it will be examining all work on its Android software to ensure that it works well with Intel technology. On one hand, this seems strange given Intel's oft-reported interest in getting Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) to use its chips in the iPhone. But on the other hand, considering that there are more Android phones on the market than iPhones, it's a good hedge against Apple's fickle loyalty to its chip suppliers. It's also a hedge against Apple's current strategy of designing its own ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH ) -based smartphone and tablet processors in-house.
TouchBook is toast
Speaking of mobile Intel, Intel's also just called a strike against Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ ) value as an investment. Asked at the conference whether he might be interested in acquiring HP's PC business, now that it's up for sale, Otellini gave an unqualified "no." Even if HP does proceed with plans to spin off its PC biz, Intel would not buy it. When you consider how very cheap HP has become, and how this suggests a fire-sale price tag on the unit, the disappointment continues for HP investors looking for any out from the PC business. One less potential buyer means one less potential bidder to drive up the unit's price when it goes on the block, and one less chance anyone will step in to save shareholders from the effects of the ill-considered Palm acquisition.
For those keeping score at home, the upshot of Intel's conference comments is bad news for HP, and worrisome news for Apple as well, but good news for Google.
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