Intel just held their annual Ana­lyst Sum­mit, which is always a joy to attend because they are such an amaz­ing exe­cu­tion busi­ness run by very smart peo­ple. A year ago, they were some­what in denial about the shifts being dri­ven by the iPhone, iPad and iCloud but they seem to have moved to the accep­tance phase now. Intel is right to say that the PC isn’t going away any­time soon; they have every rea­son to expect robust low-end PC growth in devel­op­ing coun­tries as wages grow. But it’s strik­ing to me how much the game has changed. A year ago they intro­duced the Ultra Book pro­gram aimed at get­ting very sleek, Mac­Book Air like note­books into the mar­ket. The first ones intro­duced all seemed expen­sive, which is sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing that Apple has always been the “expen­sive” one. And then you real­ize that Apple con­sumes 50% of the world pro­duc­tion in some flash cat­e­gories, and has a clear sup­ply advan­tage. Intel talks about how new sys­tems like the Ultra Book can accel­er­ate buyer refresh cycles and how much rev­enue that can bring into the PC ecol­ogy, which of course is very true until you com­pare it to (say) the iPad where the crit­ics won­der if the new iPad is going to be sexy enough to cause buy­ers of the last gen­er­a­tion to want one, not whether peo­ple will replace their five year old sys­tems with a new lap­top. I believe the cyn­ics are right and that Apple at some point will come down from a tril­lion dol­lar val­u­a­tion, but right now it’s Apple that’s trans­forming the world, dri­ving by what peo­ple, like us, are buy­ing. I held on to by beloved Black­berry until last fall, and didn’t buy an iPad until the 3rd gen­er­a­tion. But I’m not look­ing back, not so much because the iDe­vices are sleek and cool, but rather because of the remark­able apps I can now use (and do).