Intel Prepares to Step Into ARM Territory

Chipzilla Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) just reported first-quarter earnings recently, and while I'm not here to break down the overall digits for you, I am going to call out a particularly interesting tidbit that CEO Paul Otellini dropped on the ensuing conference call.

Specifically, here it is from his prepared remarks:

And we expect to see another important milestone for our business later this week with the launch of the world's first Intel architecture-based smartphone.

Source: Intel Q1 2012 earnings conference call.

Intel has been readying its assault against the mobile dominance of ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) and its licensees with its Medfield Atom chip, but it has yet to release any devices.

The chip giant has been inking important partnerships to lay the foundation to its mobile encroachment, including with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) for Android optimization on the operating system side and soon-to-be-Google-subsidiary Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) as one of several hardware OEM partners. The list doesn't end there, as OEMs Lenovo, ZTE, and Lava are also onboard, along with French telecom Orange.

Otellini didn't specify which specific device he was referring to, but chances are that it's the Lava Xolo X900, which is rumored to launch in the Indian market this week. The Android device will carry an Intel Atom chip, along with other standard features like a 4-inch display and dual cameras.

The Atom-powered Lenovo K800 is expected to launch next month, while there's little to no detail on Moto's Atom offering beyond some leaked mockups of a possible candidate. Intel is gaining steam with its partnerships, but it will still have an uphill battle dethroning Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) as the mobile-chip king with its ARM-based Snapdragons and leadership in baseband modems.

Qualcomm is a mighty contender alone, but Intel is going against an entire ARMy full of worthy opponents.

By the end of the week, Intel will officially step into ARM's ring to wage a mobile war that promises to be long and bloody with plenty of casualties along the way.

Intel wants to tap mobile because it's The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution. One of ARM's licensees in particular is a great way to play the rise of smartphones and tablets. Get the free report now.

Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm, Google, and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Google. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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