Smartphones and mobile devices in general have wreaked havoc on the PC industry over the past several years. As saturation set in, however, we saw things level out a bit and even start to recover but that may not be the case for much longer.
Multiple industry sources familiar with the matter tell CRN that Intel is slashing funding of its iconic "Intel Inside" campaign by 40 to 60 percent. What does that mean for the PC industry as a whole and ultimately, consumers?
As the publication highlights, Intel Inside is a compensation and funding incentive for OEMs and channel partners to market and sell products featuring Intel products. It's been around since 1991 and is one of the world's largest cooperative marketing programs. Several major OEMs and partners rely on the funding as part of their annual sales and marketing plans.
Intel confirmed to CRN that it was making changes to the Intel Inside program. A spokesperson told the publication the changes are intended to help customers more efficiently and effectively market with Intel while helping them [Intel] market with more precision in alignment with their business priorities.
A top executive from a major Intel partner told CRN that funds have been moved to other groups within Intel that aren't channel-specific or PC-centric. Some money will also be staying in house to improve Intel's profits and margins, the person said.
The CEO of a major solution provider said the cuts are most likely going to result in price increases from the OEMs (which will likely be passed on to the consumer). It's unfortunate that it is happening at a time when component costs are at the highest they have been in years, the CEO said, adding that it doesn't bode well for commercial customers with new RFPs [requests for proposal] for PC purchases.
A marketing executive from a major tech vendor told CRN that the cutbacks are a sign of the times in the computer business. Another partner said it was a great program but with all the changes in the system builder and OEM community, it isn't shocking.