Intel Focuses Smartphone Efforts on Android
Neither Otellini nor Rubin gave out much in the way of details regarding the partnership. However, during a question-and-answer session with analysts and journalists after his keynote, Otellini said Intel will focus its first smartphone efforts on Android, and that there will be "multiple manufacturers worldwide" making the Intel-based phones. "The first phones ... will be all Android-based; hence the importance of the Google partnership," he said.Otellini said he is confident in the Intel technology, and that a key differentiator is its ability to support legacy workloads. "The value of legacy ... is pretty substantial, and I don't think end users will walk away from that. I like our chances." He said that despite the head start ARM has in smartphones, the market is still very fluid. "The smartphone business is not established in terms of the ultimate shakeout of who is going to win and who is going to lose," Otellini said, noting the strong showing Android now has in the space despite Apple's strong start with the iPhone. He also said MeeGo is still "alive and well," particularly in embedded solutions for such areas as the automotive industry. However, he acknowledged that Nokia's decision earlier this year to ditch MeeGo in favor of Windows set the development of the open-source OS back months. However, Intel is still working with OEMs to bring MeeGo onto tablets and smartphones. "Obviously, when Nokia chose [to leave the partnership], our major partner disappeared, so we're looking for other partners," Otellini said. Roger Kay, principal analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, doesn't hold out a lot of hope for MeeGo's future. "MeeGo is quietly slipping into the background," Kay said in an email to eWEEK.
Otellini also dismissed any concern about Windows 8, Microsoft's upcoming operating system that will be optimized for mobile devices and run on not only Intel but also chips designed by ARM and manufactured by the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments. He was asked about the Microsoft's demonstration of the ARM-based Windows devices at the BUILD conference and his concern about it not only strengthening ARM's hold on the mobile computing space, but also helping ARM officials in their ambitions to move into the PC market.