Intel and Nokia to Stir Up Mobile Market

Jul 03, 2009

Market research firm Gartner sees Intel's mobile processor platform as a serious contender with Qualcomm and Texas Instruments due to its recent collaboration with Nokia.

Nokia and Intel are seeking a long-term partnership to develop new chipsets and device architectures for computers and mobile phones to produce a true mobile platform, as confirmed by a recent Intel press release. The partners hope to integrate mobile broadband and the widespread Internet connectivity to go beyond what is currently available for smart phones, netbooks and laptops. The partners are thereby expressing their commitment to mobile Linux software. Intel also wants to acquire a license for Nokia's HSPA/3G modem to use in future devices.

Gartner sees Intel's new venture as "a competitive threat to companies like Texas Instruments and Qualcomm." The High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology (known as Mobile Broadband with a nominal 7-MBits/second downlink) should give Intel's motherboards a breath of fresh air. The Gartner analysts even see a threat to proprietary vendors like Apple when heavy hitters like Intel and Nokia start adopting open standards and technologies.

The analysts advise both partners to combine their Moblin and Maemo efforts. Gartner VP Nick Jones told Linux Magazine that he hasn't seen Moblin or Maemo as serious market players so far. Android could, he says, profit better instead by running on Intel's Nokia-strengthened chips. The partnership nevertheless gives Intel and Nokia the chance to address application developers and also consumers by providing a broader palette of hardware.

According to the partner firms, Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo should profit separately from their open source collaboration. They want to invest their Linux-based platform work in mobile broadband projects such as oFono.org and the ConnMan.net connection manager, but also in Mozilla, X-Org and D-Bus.

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