Are things looking up for Intel at last?

Intel has raised its quarterly revenue forecast for the first time in more than two years, citing an improving demand for personal computers


A file photo of Debjani Ghosh, vice president, sales and marketing group and managing director, South Asia, Intel. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
A file photo of Debjani Ghosh, vice president, sales and marketing group and managing director, South Asia, Intel. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Are things finally looking up for Intel Corp.? After all, the microprocessor giant’s technology has even made its way into Apple’s latest iPhones.

According to reports, the chip maker is supplying a portion of the modems for Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Last week, Intel raised its quarterly revenue forecast for the first time in more than two years, citing improving demand for PCs.

The firm said in a statement that PC makers were replenishing laptop and desktop inventory, which means Intel is likely to ship out more chips.

This is consistent with reports that PC shipments beat expectations in the second quarter of 2016. Worldwide PC shipments totalled 62.4 million units, a year-on-year decline of 4.5%, beating the forecast of a 7.4% fall, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).

Historically, most of Intel’s sales have come from the PC business. But the world’s largest chip maker has been struggling for the last few years as users shift away from PCs to mobile devices for their computing needs. Sales for the firm’s PC business, which includes chips for phones and tablets, declined 3% to $7.3 billion in the latest quarter. This means Intel is looking for revenue streams outside of the core PC-based business, both globally and in India.

In the PC business in India, Intel is targeting newer markets that extend beyond the large cities, to new users of technology who have not yet had access to computing so as to establish relevance of technology for these citizens. The company has collaborated with the government to make this possible – their work with CSCs has resulted in Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur, wherein Intel provides access to computing devices and relevant local content and training to non-urban citizens.

But it is Intel’s Data Centre segment that is the crucial part of its India operations. Globally, it is the data centre business that delivers almost half of Intel’s operating margins and is expected to grow revenue at ~15% through 2018.

“Our strategy is data centre architectural transformation, wherein computer, storage and network resources transform to become software defined infrastructure (SDI) that enable flexible, agile and on-demand services. We have an outstanding portfolio of products available and a very strong road map of data centre portfolio to accelerate this transformation,” said Debjani Ghosh, vice-president of the sales and marketing group and managing director of South Asia at Intel.

In driving the cloud vision, Intel is collaborating with software and hardware partners including Dell, HP, Cisco, Red Hat, VMware and other local equipment manufacturers.

Ghosh is optimistic about the future of Intel. She believes there are two key factors that will continue to give Intel growth opportunities in the Indian market.

“First, our agility to develop products and solutions across a breadth of industry requirements. We are creating a common, flexible, industry standard architectural foundation across server, storage, and network,” says Ghosh.

The second factor is local and global collaborations. Last year, Intel collaborated with C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) to train 20,000 developers over the next seven years to build applications for high performance computing, to enable India to be a part of the select league of advanced countries with the top supercomputing machines in the world.

More From Livemint