Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Intel Sidles Into Phones
Intel seems to be shuffling sideways like an old crab into the phone market.
The third phone to be launched with an Intel processor is made by the Taiwanese firm Gigabyte and will be sold next week by the T-Mobile/Orange wireless network operator Everything Everywhere.
This comes after two other Intel-based phones have been announced – one from the Indian firm Lava, and the second from the Chinese PC company Lenovo.
None of the three companies are top-flight phone makers. One suspects that a fistful of Intel development dollars could have influenced their choice of processor.
The first Tier One phone company to use an Intel processor is expected to be Motorola Mobility. Motorola Mobility is owned by Google and Intel’s CEO is on the Google board.
Again one suspects it was not at the urging of Motorola Mobility’s engineers that the choice of an Intel processor was made.
Not so long ago we were led to believe that Intel was buddy buddies with Nokia. But despite Nokia being run by an ex-Microsoftie, and using a Microsoft OS in its handsets, it has not, so far, announced a Wintel phone.
Interestingly, the Everything Everywhere guy says the Intel/Gigabyte phone is an entry-level device explaining: “It’s not about going head-to-head with a Galaxy S3.”
As a pay-as-you-go the Gigabyte phone sells for £200 whereas top-end phones on pay-as-you-go cost around £600.
This is an uncharacteristically humble approach to the market by Intel – sidling in at the bottom of the market with non-traditional vendors.
It looks as if Intel is up to its old wily ways. If you can’t get in the front door by producing a better chip, try the back door by using corporate muscle. And if the back door doesn’t work try MDF.Tags: back door, development dollars, gigabyte, lava, taiwanese firm