It's a rumor no longer. Intel
has been trying and trying to get a chip ready for smartphone use, and while trade show after trade show brought us demonstrations of Medfield and the like, there's still no smartphone shipping today with Intel Inside. Now, the company's ready to step up to the plate and offer up some serious competition for Qualcomm
and the other smartphone powerhouses. According to a Reuters report, France Telecom's own "Orange" will soon offer an Intel-powered smartphone in France and the UK, with "this summer" pegged as the availability date.
With PC sales slowing giving up ground to more mobile, powerful handhelds, Intel has to make a serious play here in order to keep up appearances. And, to perhaps keep up market share. The phone, which is code-named "Santa Clara," will run on Android, and will be Orange-branded. It's actually a lower-end device, aimed at pay-as-you-go customers. The phone will have an 8MP camera and will support HD video, and Intel's obviously thrilled to have found a partner to launch their first real mobile effort in the consumer universe. Mike Bell, who is the co-lead for Intel's mobile and wireless business, said this: "This is a really big deal for us. It's phenomenal that Orange has asked us to participate and put our Intel logo on the back."
Gigabyte will be responsible for building the hardware (yep, the same company that makes loads of motherboards), and will add a certain, undisclosed twist to Android with its own "proprietary software." Needless to say, we hope this is just the start for Intel finding itself in phones, not just tablets, laptops and desktops.