Intel has made further strides into the mobile market at CES, announcing not only the very first smartphone to be based on their new Medfield platform, but a partnership with Motorola too.
A ‘reference design’ phone made an appearance in December last year, which showed Intel had refined the Atom-based chip to offer improved power-consumption, a problem which had halted some of their previous efforts. At the time they indicated that market-ready hardware would show up at CES, and sure enough, we’ve been shown the Lenovo K800.
The phone uses Google Android and has a 4-inch touchscreen and an 8 megapixel camera, however the reason everyone’s excited about it is the 1.6GHz Atom processor inside. The K800 will be the first phone to use the Medfield Z2460 platform, but at this stage it will only go on sale in China.
Not to worry though, as Intel has announced a partnership with Motorola that should result in hardware available everywhere. Right now the ink is still drying on their contract, so there’s no devices to report just yet, however Intel has said they’ll both have a smartphone ready for sale in the second half of the year.
As Motorola is in the process of being purchased by Google, one has to wonder how much the makers of Android pushed for Motorola to get in early with Intel. If the platform is a success, a solid relationship built early on will likely pay off. It could also mean we’ll see an Intel-powered, Motorola-produced Nexus phone arrive in the future.
Intel and Motorola will both be at Mobile World Congress at the end of February, when more details on their future plans could be revealed.