For years, Intel has been saying that they’ll one day enter the smartphone market. And for good reason too. During the fourth quarter of last year, for the first time in recorded history, smartphone sales eclipsed PC sales. At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show show in Las Vegas, the chip company showed off a reference design and promised that it would hit the market during the first half of this year. We’re delighted to say that Intel has kept their promise. Lava, a phone manufacturer we’ve never heard of, is going to start selling the Xolo X900 in India tomorrow. It’ll have a 1.6 GHz Intel Medfield processor, 4 inch screen, 8 megapixel camera, all the good stuff. But, and this is a huge but, it’s going to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. No word on pricing.
So what about the rest of the world, and more importantly what about devices from more reputable brands? Organe UK is going to launch the “London” during the summer. It’s basically Intel’s reference design with an Orange logo on it. Lenvo has the K800, but it’s never going to leave China. Motorola has promised that it’ll come out with an Intel based smartphone during the second half of 2012, but we frankly don’t even know if Motorola will even exist by the end of the year since they’re due to be gobbled up by Google.
When will Apple, Nokia, Samsung, and other companies of that caliber, start taking Intel seriously? If we had to make a guess, we’d say 2014. Why then? Because Intel still needs to work on power efficiency, they need to work on compatibility, and more importantly they need to work on integrating the cellular technology they purchased from Infineon.
Will consumers even care about Intel versus ARM when it comes to their next smartphone purchase? Absolutely not, but hey, we have to cover this story since Intel’s future most certainly depends on their ability to enter this space.