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PC Power in Your Handheld

Intel's new chips could help devices like the iPhone make the most of the Web

When the iPhone (AAPL) appeared last year, fans hailed it as the first handheld product to deliver a full Internet experience. While there was some truth to that claim, the iPhone is just the beginning. Equipped with more advanced semiconductors, handhelds—including the iPhone—may soon equal or surpass PCs as tools for work and play.

Smartphones and other handhelds have always had two big liabilities: cramped screens and limited keyboard capability. Less obvious, but just as troubling, is their general lack of the processing power needed to work well with important software such as Adobe's (ADBE) Flash technology, which powers many Web sites. (The iPhone can't run it at all.)