Could Intel Win the Next Moto X?

With the new Lenovo-Motorola combination coupled with Intel's multi-year deal with Lenovo, could Intel win the next Moto X?

Mar 5, 2014 at 12:00PM

With the Lenovo-Motorola deal essentially done, and with Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) announcement of a multi-year, multi-device partnership with Lenovo, could Intel wind up winning the next-generation Moto X? The answer to this question isn't so simple. Intel could very well win some models of the Moto X. But because Intel's modems do not offer support for CDMA, some, if not all, variants would necessarily be Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)-powered.

CDMA is on its way out, but it's still here for now
CDMA, and in particular, CDMA2000, is a family of 3G standards that use a channel access technique known as code division multiple access. Some carriers, such as Sprint and Verizon, use CDMA, while GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile do not. While Verizon and others have made it crystal clear that CDMA will eventually fade into irrelevance, that won't happen until LTE-only networks are the norm. CDMA will be around for many years to come.

While Intel's latest XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced modem supports all of the latest and greatest features required for a high-end device, one thing that it is still missing is support for CDMA -- and from conversations with Intel's mobile group, it is clear that Intel has no intention of supporting the standard. This means that even if Intel were to actually win such a design, it would need to persuade Lenovo/Motorola to go the extra mile to build separate SKUs -- one with a Qualcomm platform and the other with the Intel platform. This isn't a huge problem, however, as Motorola put out multiple SKUs of the original Moto X, depending on the wireless standard supported.

Moto

Source: Motorola

How likely is such a win?
The first Moto X was launched on Aug. 23, 2013. Assuming a product life cycle of about a year, we're looking at a launch time frame for its successor at around the same time, implying a launch in the mid- to late third quarter. Given that Intel has confirmed that Merrifield devices will roll out in Q2 and that Moorefield devices are likely in early Q3, the time frame for Intel to win this particular design actually works. That said, this in itself is not enough to actually confirm the win. But given that Lenovo now owns Motorola -- and that Intel and Lenovo just signed a multi-year deal -- it's not at all far-fetched. Still, it's probably not something to bet money on.

With that in mind, if Intel were to win the GSM versions of this product, this would represent a pretty large validation of Intel's new mobile processors, even if it doesn't translate into something material on the revenue side of things  -- remember, the Moto X didn't exactly sell like hotcakes. A successful win for Intel here would likely attract the attention of additional handset vendors and help alleviate some of the concerns associated with switching to an Intel-based chip.

Foolish takeaway
The Lenovo-Motorola combination is extremely interesting from the perspective of an Intel investor, particularly as both Apple and Samsung seem to be out of reach at a full platform level for now, since both design their own apps processors. If Intel can land its chips in successful designs, and if it can ultimately demonstrate leadership in power, performance, and integration, then the mobile world will be Intel's oyster. Things should get very interesting over the next 12-18 months. 

A true technology revolution is upon us. Are you set to profit?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980's, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in late 1990's, when they were nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play", and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lock-step with it's industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified 1 stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Ashraf Eassa owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers