PC chipmaker Intel Inc hopes its new smartphone processor will help it
find a foothold in a mobile market coalescing around Apple, Samsung
Electronics and Qualcomm.
Intel says its latest processor for
mainstream smartphones, dubbed Clover Trail+, delivers up to double the
computing performance and three times the graphics horsepower of its
first smartphone chip, which was used last year in devices sold in
Europe, Africa, China and India.
Intel dominates the PC industry
but shipments have been falling due to the growing popularity of
smarpthones and tablets - markets the chipmaker underestimated.
company has been rushing to catch up with Qualcomm, Apple and Samsung,
which design chips with technology licensed from ARM Holdings.
Santa Clara, California chipmaker has made progress improving the
power-efficiency and computing power of its mobile processors.
Clover Trail+ chips, built with two cores and launched ahead of Mobile
World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, have been chosen by Lenovo to
power an upcoming smartphone for China, Intel said in a press release.
single-core Medfield smartphone processor was launched last year and
have been used in 10 handsets across 20 countries, although the
company's global market share in smartphone chips remains below 1
percent, according to Strategy Analytics.
After delays, Intel
expects in the next few months to start shipping phone chips with Long
Term Evolution, or LTE, a high-speed wireless technology already offered
by Qualcomm and increasingly found in smartphones launched in the
United States, including Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S3.
phones with LTE, which allows for faster downloads of movies, songs and
other content, could appear in stores next year.
Otellini has often described Intel's strategy for expanding into mobile
as "a marathon, not a sprint", but the cut-throat market for smartphone
chips increasingly appears to be a three-man race between Apple, Samsung
Samsung and Apple together accounted for 51 percent
of the smartphone market in the December quarter, compared to 46
percent in the same period the year before, according to IDC.
manufactures processors for the iPhone and iPad on behalf of Apple and
also increasingly makes its own smartphone chips. Top mobile chipmaker
Qualcomm's stock market value overtook Intel's for the first time in
"The issue is the customer environment. Apple and
Samsung make their own and the rest of the world has gone Qualcomm,"
said Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein. "They (Intel) need
LTE and they need to show that their products aren't just a little
better. They have to be massively better."
In January, Intel
announced a new processor platform, codenamed Lexington, targeted at
low-priced smartphones in emerging markets like Latin America and Asia
where Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung are less dominant and LTE is not a
With Wall Street increasingly worried about slowing PC
sales and Intel's lack of market share in mobile, the chipmaker's stock
has lost a quarter of its value over the past 12 months.
© Thomson Reuters 2013