Intel to Take on iPhone 5S, Galaxy S IV with New Smartphone Platform
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is reportedly building an all-new smartphone platform to compete more effectively in the mobile device market.
According to DigiTimes, the company will unveil the platform -- along with new Atom processors designed for lower power consumption -- at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The event is scheduled to take place at the end of February.
If this report is accurate, Intel's announcement will come around the same time that Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S IV. The South Korean manufacturer was expected to introduce the new phone a little sooner, but Samsung quashed that rumor when it jumped ahead and unveiled the Galaxy Grand last week. The Grand runs the latest version of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android and includes a five-inch display. Many speculate that the Galaxy S IV will feature a screen that is even bigger, though not as big as the Galaxy Note 2, which contains a 5.5-inch display.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) -- which uses Intel chips in the iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and other computers -- is rumored to be developing an iPhone upgrade for an early spring 2013 release. The device, which many suspect will be called the iPhone 5S, could be unveiled in March.
Intel has had its eye on the smartphone market for some time. The company is famous for manufacturing the Pentium, Celeron, Core Duo and Core i7 brands, which have helped Intel to become the world's largest chipmaker.
Despite its size and massive revenue (roughly $50 billion annually), Intel is losing ground. It has learned that PCs -- desktops, notebooks and other forms -- may not be the future. If Intel is to maintain its spot at the top, it must build a successful platform for the devices that stand to replace PCs: smartphones and tablets.
Intel attempted to cash in on the mobile market when it developed Medfield, a mobile platform used by Motorola, Lenovo and a handful of other manufacturers. Thus far, none of the Medfield-powered smartphones have produced a runaway success story. Instead of hearing more about Motorola's RAZR I, investors have been bombarded with reports of low shipment volumes and the surprising revelation that the Medfield X86 chips did not initially support 4G LTE. The processor also prevented multiple Android apps from running, including Google Chrome.
These results could be very troubling to smartphone makers that are concerned with 4G LTE and/or Android app compatibility.
Shares of Intel are down nearly 16 percent year-to-date.
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