Two smartphone also-rans unite: Nokia + Intel

MobileMe - Apple Store (U.S.)“Nokia announced Tuesday that it will work with Intel to develop a new class of mobile-computing devices and chip-set architectures. The two companies will collaborate on open-source mobile Linux software projects, and Intel will license Nokia HSPA/3G modem intellectual property. The deal is a step forward for Intel’s effort to position the so-called x86 processors it now builds for PCs and servers in the rapidly growing mobile-device market. It could also give Nokia a way to suck some of an ocean of applications that now run on Intel’s x86 processor architecture into its phones. Nokia, whose shares are down more than 40% over the past 12 months, could use all the help it can get.,” Brian Caulfield reports for Forbes.

“Propelling this all is Apple, which has rolled through the smart-phone business like a nitro-fueled tank. The company announced Monday that it has sold more than 1 million units of its latest handset, the iPhone 3G S, since it went on sale Friday in an announcement that included the first public statement from Steve Jobs since the Apple chief went on medical leave in January,” Caulfield reports.

“Apple’s progress is more than just a direct challenge to Nokia. While Apple relies on processors built by Samsung around designs from U.K.-based ARM to power its smart phones, it has recruited a strong team of chip designers since its acquisition of PA Semi last year. That could pose a challenge to Intel’s efforts to put its chips at the heart of the next generation of mobile devices,” Caulfield reports.

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Antone Gonsalves reports for InformationWeek, “The Nokia partnership gives Intel a big break in the mobile phone market. As the world’s largest mobile-phone maker, Nokia could potentially drive Intel’s processors into millions of devices. Currently, most smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, run on ARM-based processors. Intel’s Core microarchitecture consumes too much power to be practical in mobile phones.”

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