Intel has been trying to enter the lucrative smartphone market for years now, but with little tangible success.
However, Santa Clara is hoping that its low power sipping x86 Medfield processor will help it take on ARM’s wide range of RISC-based chips that power today’s smartphones.
Indeed, Santa Clara has taken a major step forward, with Intel’s first viable smartphone - the XOLO X900 - slated to hit the streets of India on April 24.
The specs are pretty sweet: Android Gingerbread (ICS upgrade imminent), 1.6 GHz Atom processor, hyper-threading technology, HSPA+ 3G connectivity, 400 MHz graphics clock, full 1080p HD video encoding/playback, 4.03-inch high-resolution display and an 8-megapixel camera with an uber-fast burst mode that allows 10 pictures to be captured in under a second.
A second Intel smartphone is also slated to hit the streets of China later this year, which will allow the company to test the mobile waters in two major markets nearly simultaneously.
If the smartphones are even somewhat successful, Intel will likely try and market similar devices in the US sometime in the near future with faster, next-gen Atom chips. If the phones flop, well, most Americans probably won’t even notice, because it will have happened overseas in a foreign market.
Personally, I think Intel has a better chance of succeeding in China or India - countries where the smartphone market is more varied and evolving at a rapid pace.
Claiming significant market share in the US would be quite difficult, as Intel would have to power a slick, next-gen phone capable of setting new standards in terms of both hardware and software (UI). Such a scenario, while definitely plausible, will have to wait for Medfield's successor.