Intel is slowly creeping into the smartphone market as parts of its x86 everywhere strategy. I have no doubt that Intel will be able to deliver the performance required to compete in this market, the only question is if the chip giant will be able to compete in terms of power efficiency. At present Intel's smartphone chips are more power hungry than ARM-based solutions, but Intel hopes to change this with smaller manufacturing processes.
The chip giant is also keeping up with software development, news hit the wire that Intel has finished porting Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" for its low-power "Medfield" Atom processors. Mike Bell, Intel vice president and general manager of mobile computing, said multiple Intel employees, including himself, are using Medfield smartphones with Jelly Bean.
When Jelly Bean 4.1 will be rolled out to Intel-based smartphones remains a mystery though, Intel has to give the update to the carriers to put on the phones and they go through acceptance testing.
"We can't put it on the phones. We have to give it to the carriers to put on the phones and they go through acceptance testing," Bell said, adding that he can't announce Android 4.1 testing or deployment on behalf of carriers or device makers.
Intel is just getting started in the smartphone market, with devices based on a single-core Atom chip being launched by customers such as Orange, ZTE, Lava International, Lenovo and Megafon. Motorola is expected to announce a smartphone based on Intel chips next week in London. Very few smartphones have been launched with the latest version of Android, though companies are promising to deliver over-the-air upgrades.