Intel Corp.’s effort to land chips in smartphones is getting a boost from Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility, which plans to start selling devices featuring Intel processors in Europe and Latin America next month.
Motorola Mobility plans to sell the Razr i in the U.K., France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, the companies said today. The handset is the first to boast a 2-gigahertz version of Intel’s Atom processor, which is designed to speed up such tasks as taking pictures and toggling between applications.
Motorola Mobility becomes the second top-ten smartphone maker to introduce an Intel-based mobile phone, after China’s ZTE Corp. released one in Europe this month. While Intel is establishing a beachhead in mobile chips after a decade of failed attempts to persuade phone makers to use its products, it doesn’t expect material sales from the effort until 2013.
Intel has less than 1 percent of the market for mobile-phone processors, said Will Strauss, an analyst at Forward Concepts Co., a Mesa, Arizona-based research firm.
Intel lags in mobile chips behind Qualcomm Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. Its new device will square off against Apple’s iPhone 5, which goes on sale in parts of Europe on Sept. 21, as well as other, more established brands.
Not all of Intel’s announced partners end up bringing Intel-based phones to market. That was the case with Nokia Oyj and LG Electronics Inc.
The Motorola Mobility phone will be capable of loading the camera function and taking multiple pictures instantaneously, said Jim Wicks, a vice president of mobile devices at Motorola Mobility.
“It will build on the Razr brand,” Wicks said in an interview.
Intel shares fell less than one percent to $23.31 in New York trading yesterday, leaving them down 3.9 percent this year.
India’s Lava International Ltd. became the first company to offer an Intel-based phone, rolling out a model called the XOLO X900 that runs Google’s Android software in April.
Intel has also said that France Telecom SA’s Orange and Lenovo Group Ltd. are phone-chip customers.
-- Editors: Tom Giles, Reed Stevenson