An Intel executive says the development of the MeeGo mobile operating system is on track, but MeeGo-based smartphones and tablets won't hit the market until 2011.
Buyers are going to have to wait until next year for smartphones and most
tablets running the MeeGo operating system from Intel and Nokia.
Despite comments from Nokia officials throughout the year that
smartphones running the open-source OS would be on the market in 2010, an Intel
official now is saying those devices won't debut until the first half of 2011.
In an interview
Doug Fisher, vice president of Intel's Software and Solutions
Group and general manager of its Systems Software Division, said officials with
both Intel and Nokia are pleased with the progress of MeeGo's development. The
two companies in February announced the partnership to develop the operating
Version 1.1 is due out later in 2010, and will offer
features-including support for touch-based commands-that are aimed at
smartphones and tablets. But those devices won't hit the market until the next
The one exception will be the WeTab, an 11.6-inch tablet that
runs MeeGo and is powered by Intel's Atom processor. That will be available
from Neofonie, a Berlin-based company, later in 2010.
There also are other MeeGo-based devices on the market, such as
netbooks and Web-connected televisions.
Both Nokia and Intel are looking to MeeGo to help them in the
highly competitive mobile device world. Nokia, while still the world's top cell
phone maker, has seen its dominance slip in the face of competition from Apple's
iPhone and Google Android-based phones. The company hired
former president of Microsoft's Business Division, as its new
In the second quarter, Nokia's share of the smartphone market
was 37.5 percent, a drop from 45 percent during the same period in 2009.
For Intel, the combination of MeeGo and its Atom platform
represents its shot at expanding its business into the mobile and embedded
markets. Intel in September declared the AppUp
mobile application store
for MeeGo applications to no longer be a beta. The
store has about 800 applications, according to Intel. In an effort to expand
the number of applications that can run on the Intel platform, the company is
working on a tool that will enable developers to move
to devices powered by Intel chips.
The mobile space offers Intel a way for its business to grow beyond
its PC and server chip roots. It's a business CEO
Paul Otellini said Intel should have entered sooner.
"I wish we had started earlier," Otellini said during
an Oct. 5 talk in New York at the
Council on Foreign Relations. "I wish I had been smart enough to start
[working on smartphone processors] seven years ago because we'd be in a good
position today, but I wasn't."
In 2006, at a time when Intel's competition with Advanced Micro
Devices in the area of PC and server chips was heightened, Intel sold its
XScale mobile chip business to Marvell Technology Group. Intel in August bought
Infineon Technologies' mobile chip
Having the MeeGo-based mobile devices come out next year will
make a tough situation that much more difficult for Intel and Nokia. Already
there is tremendous momentum behind Apple's iPhone and Google's Android OS, and
Microsoft plans to launch its Windows Phone 7 operating system Oct. 11.
In addition, Hewlett-Packard is expected to release devices
running its newly acquired WebOS in early 2011.
MeeGo's efforts also took a hit when Ari Jaaksi, Nokia's vice
president of devices and head of MeeGo development, left the company.