Intel Wants Your Cell Phone

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Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) has been on the outside of the mobile market, looking in. The chip giant's products power a few tablets and handsets from no-name manufacturers in China, but "Intel Inside" is not a mobile jingle in the Western world. ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) has locked up the mobile space, leaving little room for others to gain a toehold in this exploding market.

All that is about to change. Intel and Google division Motorola Mobility just introduced Motorola's first Intel-powered phone. Say hello to the Motorola RAZR i.

The RAZR i is a reworked version of the RAZR M, which features a Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) Snapdragon processor and is available from Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) today. The main difference is Intel's 2-gigahertz Atom "Medfield" processor. The Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android software runs on both Intel and ARM processors, and this phone should present a fairly bare-bones version of the Android experience.

Motorola claims 20 hours of "mixed use" battery life thanks to the low power needs of the Intel chip and the ultra-efficient OLED screen. That's a major selling point these days.

So when can we get our hands on this handset? Well, Motorola will start selling these phones in October across Latin America and large chunks of Western Europe. There's no launch date in the calendar for North America, though the model should be compatible with the fast HSPA+ data networks of AT&T or T-Mobile.

Why isn't Intel staking a claim on its all-American home soil, where other mobile-phone hopefuls go to set the tone for global campaigns? That's hard to say, especially since the company isn't spilling the beans. The situation gets even curiouser when you consider how U.S.-centric the Motorola brand really is. Motorola Mobility pulled more than half of its revenue from the United States in 2011, which is unusual in this industry. Maybe it's a joint effort to raise the profile of two American brands in overseas markets.

Intel is a powerful company with or without mobile success. Read up on the chip titan's opportunities and challenges in our brand-new premium report on the stock. It comes with a year of free updates. Click here now to get started.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Qualcomm, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Google. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2012, at 9:19 PM, fortuitoustrade wrote:

    I like how all of these analysts have downgraded Intel AFTER its epic drop from $29 primarily on PC headwinds and the lack of a presence in mobile. All are acting as if (1) the Moto RAZRi doesn't exist, (2) no parent in the world will buy their child a PC for Christmas, (3) the cloud would happily do without Intel, (4) Intel failed to get the skeletons out of their closet with their OWN earnings revision, (5) Intel already is trading with a forward P/E of 10 and has already gone from mobile ignorant to mobile evangelical. Combine that with the bond surrogate effect that these mega-cap divvy players are providing to the boomer generation and Intel's near 4% divvy, I laugh at calls of this company being a dinosaur.

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