While it’s unfortunate to see Intel falling back on AMD’s rise, the blue team is also thumped in the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) business lately.
This led Intel to stop investing in its NUC business and empower the industry partners to excel in the future. This decision would eventually let Apple reign the NUC space, which found success in its native M-series chips for almost all of its products.
Excelling in NUC Business
To the unknown, the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is an alternative to regular PCs that consume a lot of desk space, led by Intel once upon a time but eventually letting rivals go ahead. The latest in this pursuit is the blue team stopping direct funding into its NUC business, as noted by Intel’s EMEA comms manager of client computing and graphics, Mark Walton, who said to The Verge as follows;
“We have decided to stop direct investment in the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) Business and pivot our strategy to enable our ecosystem partners to continue NUC innovation and growth. This decision will not impact the remainder of Intel’s Client Computing Group (CCG) or Network and Edge Computing (NEX) businesses.”
Though it’s wrapping up its business, Intel promises to support the industry partners making the NUC products and fuel and indirect competition against the Apple. As for why Intel wants to chase Apple is a long story and dates back decades.
The first NUC came to combat the growing popularity of MacBook Air, where Apple brought a lightweight computer that does all the jobs a regular desktop computer does. This led Intel to power its partners with a $300 million fund to build mini and portable PCs with its chip inside. And for those who don’t mind running Windows OS, these affordable NUCs are a great choice.
Apple kept up with the competition by offering the latest features and dumping the older ones like DVD drives and HDDs. And to combat Intel’s efforts in the NUC space, Apple also made a similar machine called Mac mini G4 in 2005, running on the PowerPC platform. Eventually, the company shifted to using Intel chips in 2006 and to its own Silicon in 2020.
This gave the company an advantage of native experience, with its M-series chips performing better than Intel’s counterparts and leading the way forward. Now, we have the beasty M2 Mac Studio and some Ultra models to do tough jobs that a regular PC can’t, although the new models aren’t small and easily portable.
Though Apple is ruling the NUC era now, Intel isn’t giving up. The company plans to empower its partners in the same industry to run after Apple’s popularity and cash on those who can’t afford Apple products and don’t mind running Windows OS.