Intel banks on emerging markets to boost smartphone efforts

Intel banks on emerging markets to boost smartphone efforts

Summary: Intel continues to aim Atom at the smartphone market. The big plan for 2013 is to target emerging markets.


Intel will launch a new Atom processor code-named Lexington aimed at emerging markets in a move to put more of its chips into smartphones.

Last year at CES, Intel announced plans to put Atom into phones. That effort largely played out, but Intel still trails Qualcomm and other mobile players by a wide margin. With that backdrop, Intel's move to target emerging markets makes a lot of sense.

Speaking at CES 2013, via CNET's live broadcast, Mike Bell, vice president for Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, said Acer, Africa-based Safaricom, and Lava, based in India, will announce products based on Lexington in the first quarter. Africa, China, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia are the initial target markets.



Bell said Lexington is designed to deliver value with no-compromise technology. Specifically, Intel noted:

  • That the Atom for the emerging market will deliver HD video encoding.
  • Quality pictures.
  • Up to 1.2GHz with hyperthreading technology.
  • Optimized to run Android applications.
  • And fast Web performance.


Topics: Smartphones, Mobility, Networking, Processors, CES

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  • Intel should focus on moving up the timeline for

    getting airmont phones into first world markets.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Emerging Markets Can't Afford Intel's Prices

    Intel is accustomed to fat profits. It cannot build a sustainable business on ARM-style profit margins, because it simply has no idea how to cope with that much competition.
    • Do you really believe Intel needs you to tell them the obvious?

      Chances are that, their studies and marketing strategies have already made many different considerations before targeting any specific markets or groups?

      Also, in case you haven't noticed, the prices for smartphones are almost irrelevant when the carriers are subsidizing them, some to the point where the price of the equipment comes down to zero.

      But, there is no doubt that what you're really worried about is that Intel might actually make headway into the smartphone arena, and you're one of those that would like to derail the effort. But, since you're a nobody and Intel knows a lot more than you do about the markets, your efforts will go unnoticed, and you'll remain irrelevant.
      • Re: the prices for smartphones are almost irrelevant when the carriers are

        In the free-market world (which is most of the world), people can buy their own phones. Switching carriers is as easy as switching a SIM card. So your choice of phones is not dictated by your choice of carrier.
      • Intel not doing OK

        Why their studies and marketing strategies help them lead in the mobile market?

        But carriers subsidize only the premium phones. Intel does not have any in this grade yet.

        Since you are emotionally attached to Intel, can you declare your affiliation/interest in Intel
        Van Der
  • Intel and ARM

    Intel lost the initiative to ARM. The only way to get it back is a radical improvement technically (unlikely) or a significant reduction in price (also unlikely). The bigger the installed software base running on ARM in the mobile space the more difficult it will be to change. Intel of all people should know this.
    • You must have been living in a cave for the last 30 years or so, since you

      have no understanding about how volatile and finicky the technology markets can be.

      What's popular today, can become irrelevant next year. Palm and RIM are good examples of that.

      People like to use what's cool for the moment, and executes most of what they want. Do you really believe that people will care about ARM vs Atom, if they both perform the same tasks and both do them well? But, when Atom starts proving to be the better processor for anything, including tablets and smartphones, then the ARM architecture will have seen its best days.
      • "Do you really believe that people will care about ARM vs Atom"

        No. I believe that manufacturers care. People can't buy a phone if no one builds / sells it. Why will manufacturers give a crap about intels new chips?
        • You can't really be that dense. Or can you?

          People like their gadgets, and if you were to poll them about what processor is inside their smartphones or tablets, most wouldn't be able to answer.

          However, people do like their gadgets to perform better than the last one they had, and to possible perform better than the next guy's device. To that end, people will want their next device to have a better processor than the one that doesn't perform as well. The Atom outperforms any ARM processor. Therefore, when the economics makes it affordable to put Atoms into people's devices, and if performance is comparable or better, chances are that, the manufacturers will be putting those processors in their smartphones and tablets.

          Manufacturers are always looking to create the "next big thing", and Atom processors that outperform ARM processors, and that are comparable in price, and that have battery life comparable to ARMs, will, for certain, be something that the manufacturers will be creating. In fact, they are already doing that in other countries, like for China and India, which are, to an extent, the test markets for those new Atom-powered devices.

          What you are doing, in reality, is hoping that Intel doesn't take off in the mobility markets, but, chances are that, your wishes won't be met.