Intel Launches New Push Into Mobile

The chip maker has partnered with Motorola and Lenovo in a new effort to get into the smartphone business.

Intel moved to defend its turf -- and possibly its future -- by inking deals to supply next-generation Atom chips to smartphone makers Motorola and Lenovo Motorola and Lenovo.

The agreements, announced this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, mark Intel's latest effort to enter the burgeoning -- and lucrative -- smartphone market, where most devices currently feature chips designed by ARM Holdings.

Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, said that while Intel still sells hundreds of million of chips a year, ARM partners like Nvidia, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm are shipping billions of "increasingly sophisticated devices" that are built with ARM chips.

Under the agreements, Lenovo and Motorola will release smartphones based on Intel's upcoming Atom Z2460 chip, code-named Medfield, later this year, said Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a CES keynote speech.

Since Intel has been struggling to enter the smartphone market, "the deals with Lenovo, and especially Motorola, are a very positive step forward," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

But to ensure success against a rival whose share of the smartphone processor market is close to 100%, the Intel-based phones will need application developers, carrier support and positive reviews from independent analysts, Moorhead added.

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