Intel is getting it wrong by locking their Content platform

Intel Explore & Learn
Intel Explore & Learn
(Image courtesy of Intel Explore & Learn)

Intel is best known as a Chip processor manufacturer. According to Wikipedia, Intel is one of the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip makers, based on revenue. It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers.

While Intel has been the world’s dominant PC Microprocessor maker for over two decades, it has had difficulty penetrating newer processor markets for tablets and smartphones, in which Qualcomm and Samsung are dominant. As a result Intel’s growth has slowed significantly in the last two years, in line with the declining PC shipments. For more on the rising smartphone and tablet shipment and how it affects Intel, read Forbe’s comprehensive article on it.

To bring all this into context, Intel were among the companies that bid for the Jubilee Laptop Project for class 1 kids which is yet to be implemented due to a myriad of controversies. This is in line with their venture into Education globally and locally through the  launch of the Intel Education 2-in-1 laptop.

Through the 4Afrika Initiative, intel has partnered with Microsoft and the Kenya Private Schools Association for their education platform, Intel Explore and Learn which is being used to deliver content to students.

Intel device error
Intel device error

The platform is quite good as it is available in desktop version for Windows platform and as a mobile app for the Android market. however, Intel has locked the platform to devices using its processor chips thus locking out thousands of Android mobile phones that are not using its chip-sets.

So why would Intel do this despite knowing that out of all the smartphones and tablets sold worldwide (this includes Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa where the platform is available), over 70% of those were by Samsung. Samsung makes their own chipsets for their devices as well as for other mobile phone manufacturers.

What this means is that, Intel is locking out a significant number of potential users of this valuable platform that has a lot of locally relevant educational content . The Intel Explore and Learn platform despite the great user functionality, well integrated payment system and guaranteed content security (for the publishers )  cannot run on my Tecno R7 phone and many other Tecno, Samsung, Huawei and LG smartphones and Tablets.

Intel  has and continues to spend a lot of money in marketing and advertising for this platform but all that will amount to very few conversions if they cannot use what the end user already has and provide the platform through those devices. Considering that they are targeting home users as well as private schools, most of the home users will have more access to mobile devices rather than to laptop or a desktop.

Intel Explore
Intel Explore

This is a tactic that Windows has used for years until the mobile revolution almost swept them over. Why do you think Microsoft is seriously considering having some of the handsets from their new acquisition of Nokia run on Android?

Amazon was using the same strategy by forcing end users to purchase Kindles despite owning smartphones until they made the kindle app available for ios (apple) and Android platforms.

So Intel needs to change their strategy if they are to sell their Education solution to the African market.

Now I have to un-install the app from my phone as it won’t run.

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