‘My Gut Told Me to Say Yes’

Outgoing Intel CEO Paul Otellini tells The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal that Intel passed on a chance to produce CPUs for the iPhone:

“The thing you have to remember is that this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do… At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100× what anyone thought.”

It was the only moment I heard regret slip into Otellini’s voice during the several hours of conversations I had with him. “The lesson I took away from that was, while we like to speak with data around here, so many times in my career I’ve ended up making decisions with my gut, and I should have followed my gut,” he said. “My gut told me to say yes.”

Curious whether that was an ARM chip — and if not, what was it?

Update: Ben Thompson says it must have been XScale, which was ARM-based.

Thursday, 16 May 2013