SoftBank is buying ARM Holdings for $32 billion. Why would a company not presently in the semiconductor business spend 32 times sales to enter a new industry? By traditional measures it makes little sense. But for SoftBank it makes perfect sense, because here’s a company that has spent more than 30 years making high-risk bets on entering new businesses by apparently over-paying for assets. It’s the way they’ve always done it and it has nearly always worked. In this case SoftBank is paying a 43 percent premium over the recent ARM share price because that’s how much money it took to overcome the resistance of ARM management. And it’s just a guess […]
This is the first in a series of columns on the strategic direction of several major technology companies that have faltered of late. We’ll start here with Intel, follow in a couple days with Cisco followed by Microsoft, then see where it goes from there.
At Intel’s annual shareholders’ meeting last week the company talked about moving strongly into mobile chips and selling its stillborn OnCue over-the-top video streaming service, but the most important story had to do with expanding Intel’s manufacturing capacity. This latter news is especially important because if you look at the square footage of 14 nanometer fab facilities Intel says it will be bringing online in the next two to […]
Dear Mr. Jacobs:
As a professional blogger I’d normally be posting this letter on my web site but this time I’ll first try a more graceful approach. You see I have a beef with your Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize and I want you to make some changes.
In 2002 my son Chase died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at age 73 days. I wrote about it at the time and received great support from the Internet community. My pledge to do something about SIDS manifested […]
The dominant theme in this set of predictions for 2012 is the mobile conversion as we abandon our desktops for mobile devices and the Cloud. Intel, while the dominant maker of microprocessors, doesn’t have a strong product position in mobile. Worse still, the company has a leadership vacuum and a culture that has not adapted well to change. Deep pockets aren’t enough when you don’t know where to spend the money and you are running out of time. That’s Intel.
The company is desperate. It needs a mobile product line that doesn’t exist and there isn’t enough time left to develop one internally. For Intel the build or buy decision has already been made (buy, buy, buy) though I doubt that at […]