Intel currently trails ARM Holdings Plc's coalition of chipmakers in the mobile chip market, with the ARM alliance owning over 95 percent of smartphone and tablet processor sales by volume. At the 2013 Mobile World Congress, Intel is trying different strategies to lure buyers away from ARM. It has scored some design wins with its new Lexington chip, the Intel Atom Z2420, which is popping up in Android tablets as cheap as $250 USD. That aggressive pricing could help Intel. At a 2013 Consumer Electronics Show press event, an Intel executive told us that his company is finding itself in a foreign position in which it has faster hardware, but is being rejected by some OEMs because of (alleged) backdoor dealings with ARM.
On paper one disadvantage that Intel's Atom smartphone processor carry is a lower core count. While ARM chips like Qualcomm Inc.'s Snapdragon 600 or NVIDIA Corp.'s Tegra 4 typically have a quad-core layout, Intel's current smartphone chips are single-core. And yet Intel still manages to beat many multi-core ARM chips in benchmarks due to its strong single-threaded performance, indicating that core-count may be a misleading metric.