Intel's mobile chipset deals with ZTE, Motorola start to materialize
ZTE Grand X IN
Intel's long-running quest to break into the mobile market is finally starting to pay dividends in the form of actual devices from big-name smartphone players, including ZTE and soon, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit.
ZTE and Motorola, which inked deals with Intel earlier this year to put the chip giant's Atom-based Medfield silicon in their devices, will unveil gadgets with Intel chips this fall. ZTE, for one, used the IFA conference in Berlin to unveil the Grand X IN, which it will start selling across Europe in September. The gadget runs on Google's Android 4.0 and sports a 4.3-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera and support for HSPA+ 21 networks. According to Reuters, ZTE plans to debut a "number" of Intel-powered devices over the next 12-18 months.
Motorola's plans with Intel are less concrete, but the device maker sent out an invitation with Intel's logo on it for a media event in London set for Sept. 18. According to AllThingsD, Intel and Motorola are working on a multi-year partnership.
Earlier this month Intel announced plans to partner with Russia's MegaFon, and in April Indian handset maker Lava released the Intel-powered Xolo X900. The device, which packs a 1.6 GHz Medfield processor, went on sale for a "best buy street price" of around $419. Intel also has a deal with France Telecom's Orange.
Intel is working to displace the likes of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Texas Instruments and Nvidia in the smartphone space--firms that use low-power chipset architecture from ARM Holdings and have significant traction among the likes of Samsung, HTC and others. The ARM-based companies--and Qualcomm in particular--dominate the smartphone application processor market, even though Intel is the largest silicon vendor in the world based on its success with PCs. Intel will also have to fend off smaller rivals Broadcom and MediaTek, which are increasingly looking to get into smartphones both at the low end of the market and in higher tiers as well.
Qualcomm recently named former veteran Intel executive Anand Chandrasekher as its new CMO to boost its marketing profile around the world. Chandrasekher left Intel in March 2011 but was most recently the senior vice president and general manager for Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, with responsibility for the Intel Atom processor family.
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