Intel's outgoing CEO explains how they turned down the original iPhone
Intel CEO Paul Otellini has stepped down from his post, but not before divulging some interesting revelations in the process. As it turns out, Otellini and Intel turned down the chance to work on the original iPhone, now with some element of regret. As Otellini told The Atlantic:
"We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it. And the world would have been a lot different if we'd done it. 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 100x what anyone thought."
On the one hand, at the time no-one probably did know just how much of a success the iPhone would become, and how many units would be shipped. Since then, Intel has finally begun to make moves into the mobile market, but they're very much late to the party and going their own way.
The full article at The Atlantic is a lengthy profile of Paul Otellini's time at Intel, and is definitely worth a read. If they had supplied chips to the original iPhone, though, how different their presence in mobile could be today.
Source: The Atlantic