Intel's Achilles Heel Has Never Been More Apparent Than It Was Today

Intel may be the biggest name in processors for desktops and laptops, but so far it’s missed the boat in the area that really matters today –– mobile devices.

At its big CES keynote presentation yesterday, Intel renewed its promise to double down in mobile, showing off new processors for smartphones. Those devices will likely only be available in emerging markets, but the idea is to provide devices that are just as powerful as those powered by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments at just a fraction of the price.

Oh, and they probably won’t be ready until 2014.

We got a look at Intel’s CES booth today, and despite the company’s promise to increase its mobile presence, most of the booth was still Intel’s bread and butter: Super-thin laptops called Ultrabooks (sort of like Apple’s MacBook Air) and touchscreen PCs running Windows 8.

The mobile portion of the Intel booth was relegated to a small kiosk in the corner. And most of the devices shown aren’t actually available. According to the Intel reps, they’re Android phones that are only sold in emerging markets. Others were just prototypes.

That’s pretty symbolic. Intel’s biggest challenge today is convincing manufacturers to adopt its processors in smartphones and tablets, but it’s going to be a tough sell since Intel is so late to the game. Despite the importance of mobile to its future business, it still doesn’t feel like Intel is taking the space seriously.

(By the way, Intel showed mobile processors at CES last year and as far as we know it resulted in only one phone from Motorola that was only sold overseas.)

Here’s a quick look at Intel’s mobile showcase at CES:

intel smartphone by lenovoHere’s an Intel-powered smartphone made by Lenovo.

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

intel smartphone car gameIntel processors can handle some intense graphics.

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

intel smartphone car video game on tvThe processors are also capable of transmitting games to a big-screen HDTV.

Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

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