Intel will power smartphones to be launched by France Telecom’s Orange carrier in France and the United Kingdom this summer.
The phone, which will be manufactured by Gigabyte, will run the Android operating system and have Orange branding. The back of the phone will feature the Intel logo with which we are all familiar. To date, the vast majority of smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, have used chips built by Intel competitors – in particular Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm Inc.
Until this year, Intel had been very quiet with regards to smartphones. However, that looks to be changing with the release of Intel’s new 32-nanometer Medfield technology, which is part of the Atom line. Announcements of the chips inclusion in new devices seem to be popping up all over the place. In the very near future, we will almost certainly be seeing Medfield in Lenovo and Motorola Mobility devices and, if rumors are to be believed, in HTC handsets as well.
The Orange phone is an interesting proposition. It is a low-priced handset that is being aimed at “entry-level, pay-as-you-go clients” – but it looks like it will provide plenty of bang for the buck. Intel is using the handsets to showcase their technology. Given that this is their first significant foray into the smartphone market, it can be assumed that one of their objectives is get Intel-powered phones into as many users’ hands as possible. Providing a good product at a competitive price is a good way to do that.
For Intel, this marks a timely transition. This is the first year that tablets have outsold PCs.