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Intel is getting out of the smartphone market with cancellation of SoFIA and Broxton chips

Intel has confirmed that it has canceled plans to release its SoFIA and Broxton chips that were being made primarily for smartphones. This means that Intel currently has no chips that will be used in future smartphones.

Intel's shift away from the smartphone market was first announced by analyst Patrick Moorhead, via Forbes, and later confirmed by Intel itself in a statement from a spokesperson to AnandTech:

I can confirm that the changes included canceling the Broxton platform as well as SoFIA 3GX, SoFIA LTE and SoFIA LTE2 commercial platforms to enable us to move resources to products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy. These changes are effective immediately.

The move follows Intel's announcement last week it was laying off 12,000 of its employees, or about 11% of its workforce, by mid-2017. While the company did have chips inside a few Android-based smartphones in the past several years, including the ASUS ZenFone 2, Intel's share of the phone market was just a fraction of the amount claimed by ARM-based processors made by Qualcomm and others.

71 Comments
  • The smartphone market is now declining. They realize they missed the boat and they don't want to jump in while the boat is sinking. They are better off concentrating on the next big thing to not miss another boat. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe you are right... Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Yup it's a race to the bottom and hardly worth entering anymore.
  • I'm just curious. How exactly is the smartphone world declining? Smartphones didn't even get good until a couple years ago. The only thing that needs to come up is battery technology. Other then that smartphone tech is very good with tons of room to improve. Dam It Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • It's stagnation more than declining. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • "Smartphones didn't even get good until a couple years ago." You never used an iPhone? Those were good since the 4S, if not earlier. Anyway, smartphone SoCs were never the high margin items that desktop and server CPUs are, so Intel has probably decided to concentrate their focus on those to ensure their profits remain intact.
  • No I never have used an iPhone. Nothing against Apple, I just never got around to using a iPhone. Dam It Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • What does an iPhone have to do with Intel chips? Posted via the Android Central App
  • True story, every iPhone actually has a separate Intel processor inside them. You see, the Apple processors are bloody rubbish so Apple had to incorporate a second processor just to run iOS. Shhh don't tell anybody.
  • Since the 4s? If not earlier?! You don't get out much, do ya! You talk to any one of “those people”, and they'll tell you, being the “inventors” of the smartphone, and being the most “innovative” companies - EVER - they have always been great! Hell, they invented the word “great”! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Commoditization. The high, hot turn and burn of smartphone sales is over. Apple is the canary in the coal mine here. You are right, phones have gotten better. Much better. This is what happened to the computer market. "Good enough" has been the consumer sentiment keeping people from upgrading their computers (I went almost five years between upgrades). It is why iPhone sales are slowing. The S7 is amazing. How will Samsung top it with something worth moving to? Aside from getting the latest OS, there are fewer reasons to get a new phone every two years. That won't be good for YOY sales. Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • Completely agree and very well said. A few years ago I decided that a phone should last me three years, not two and I think that others will start to adopt this mindset as well.
  • I agree. Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • There goes any hopes Microsoft might have put on the "Surface Phone". Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yep, not looking good for mobile in general Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Why? Surface phone doesn't have to be Intel powered. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No but the whole Universal World MS was pushing would hand been important to use an Intel with their Surface Phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think we will still see a Surface phone. It will still run Universal Apps.
  • I don't doubt it. I personally can't wait. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Except it won't be a Surface Phone anymore but just another WP10 device, dependent on the very doubtful success of the UWP idea. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My guess is that they will still call it a Surface phone. Surface is a hot brand name, why wouldn't they call it that??? There is nothing written anywhere in stone that says a Surface phone has to run legacy apps.
  • The Surface brand stands for two-in-one Windows hardware. The brand only got real recognition once the Surface RT flopped and they killed off Windows RT. To release a Windows Phone 10 and call it "Surface Phone" when in reality it would still only do the same things Lumia phones do, would not only be incredibly stupid but it would diminish the Surface brand. There's zero point in calling something a Surface Phone just to have it be yet another failed Windows Phone 10 device.
  • Panos Panay isn't going to release "another Lumia." The Surface Phone (whatever it's going to be called) is going to do things differently. That's all that Panay does. He's going to try and change the game.
  • If we're looking at an actual Windows x86 platform on mobile, you need Intel or AMD to run the OS.
  • Actually yes it did. The entire idea of the "Surface Phone" was that, by using an Intel chip, instead of running the defunct Windows 10 Mobile it would run actual Windows 10 and with it x86 programs, thus fulfilling the true promise of Continuum. With those plans killed by Intel, Microsoft would at best have to go the way of HP etc and try to emulate things. Which would leave them exactly in the same place since it would require you to still bring another device to emulate W10 from. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh please stop acting like you know what your talking about because you clearly don't! Nobody knows what Microsoft has planned for their next phone. All we know is something might get released in 2017. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The only one here who knows nothing of what they're talking about is you, mate. "All we know is something might get released in 2017." NO, "we" don't. Microsoft hasn't made any announcement. You're going by what bloggers are saying. They claim they have "sources". but guess what? None of those "sources" saw the Surface Book coming.
  • He's right. You don't know what you are talking about.
  • There's been no announcement, no features talked about, but people love to say what it is and will be. We have no idea what they have in store. I'm not sure you need Intel to run universal apps. They could also be developing something with Intel or another chip maker. The point is that we have no idea what's cooking. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is really huge news..... Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Not really... They were not a player to begin with. would be like lenovo getting out of the smartphone market.... ultimately it wont effect much.
  • Lenovo has more sales in smartphones than HTC or Sony. It's not as small as you think it is. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry Intel, but you were just too late to the market before Qualcomm came in. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No diversity is a bad thing.....Qualcomm,and Samsung now pretty much owns the market space...all the rest of the chips are pretty much nonexistent Posted via the Android Central App
  • And AMD and Intel are the only players in laptop/desktop CPUs. This is what happens when a market stagnates. Posted via the AC App on my Nexus 6P
  • Agreed Posted via the Android Central App
  • Stagnant until there is some real innovation in battery technology, until then it's all cosmetic. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Stellar battery life and timely updates. The last two hurdles preventing people from keeping their phones for 5+ years. Putting it that way, what exactly is the motivation for OEMs to tackle this? :) Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • This. Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • Nope Mediatek has a nice piece. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Of ****.
  • They may not be good, but mediatek dominates Asia. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You forgot about nvidia and mediatek and another proprietary one that I'm forgetting. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Helio chips? #TeamFrosty Nexus 6P
  • Well that kinda sucks.. Oh well.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • While smartphones, as part of mobile might be saturated, mobile in general is still spreading. This just seems like a bad idea for Intel.
  • Not in a ARM world Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • They were too late to the game and couldn't get traction. In emerging markets timing is everything.
  • Well, I guess x86 on a phone wasn't all that appealing? Perhaps it wasn't really an efficient architecture.
  • No, it's not. But it doesn't need to be super efficient when you have giant heat-sinks and air-coolers helping out.
  • Digging a bigger hole Intel? This is a recipe for even a bigger disaster..
  • Maybe they will just re task the atom chip like in the Zen phone? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The layoffs make sense now even though I hate to hear it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's a real shame, they seemed to be making some pretty good progress. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Intel isnt a fun place to work right now. Were getting ready to lay off a lot of people in the manufacturing and development areas. The PC market is so slow now that even here in R&D where I am is slowing down. The Intel you all know today will not be the one you see 5 years from now. Its just not easy to remain competitive with the low end markets. Everyone wants things to cost less and less, and the equipment to built, design and mass produce just dont allow for that. The Chinese markets are killing us in a big way.
  • Chinese chip development or Chinese computer manufacturing in general? Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • That's why I am voting DT for President. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just curious as to why?
  • Annnnd then Ninja AMD comes in with a ******* mobile SOC Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not going to happen, it takes years and money to develop new silicon, AMD is in bad shape and has been for years. Posted via the Android Central App
  • https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://seekingalpha... And... https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.business... Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • I think Intel is jumping ship too soon. Maybe if they start wooing companies like Samsung, then they would stand a great chance in the mobile world. MOBILE (phones, audio, cars, VR, etc) is the keyword here. All tech companies should be concentrating in that segment. Posted via the Android Central App
  • 12000 employees dumped just like an old pair of shoes, to me that is the bigger story, this is messed up, only jumped into mobile market because they wanted a piece of the high profit margin pie, instead of jumping into market for innovation. Now 12000 people have to pay the price, because pc market is down which is down because prices of Core i7, Xeon e5, and Xeon e7 chips are ridiculous. This is some BS. N6p, N9, N7, Pure Nexus ROM
  • Yeah 6700k prices were and still kind of are ridiculous. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • So much for the Intel nexus dream Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Qualcomm and others" Or you mean just Qualcomm. Posted with my LG G4 6.0 via the Android Central App
  • Samsung, NVidia and Mediatek
  • Real shame. They're much better than Mediatek,which are just BAD. They've consistenly refused to hand over the source and kernel codes to their chipsets (between processor, GPU, and the connectivity bits) to ALL of their partners, does not matter who. They WANT their "partners" to abandon phones and just release phones with new chips. And as a result, EVERY SINGLE Mediatek running Android (except Android One, because they're baby Nexi) runs significantly more problematic than comparable Qualcomm phones (stability, app crashes, number of reboots, software updates.) This Galaxy Note 3 with the AC App is On Fleek.
  • This Posted via the Android Central App
  • So Samsung chips are obviously used in its phones. I would gather the Shield products qualify as mobile though I don't imagine they account for much of the market. What mobile devices are using Mediatek? I'm seriously asking. Smartphones dominate what constitutes the "mobile" market and all I ever hear about are phones using Qualcomm chips. Based on reviews, I'd love the Exynos version of the S7 over the Qualcomm.
  • a mature market is not a declining one, but if you are going to enter it and get traction, you'd better have ground breaking differences or massively lower costs. Without either, you are going to lose money for considerable time. Public companies hate that. Posted via the Android Central App