A smartphone reference design by Intel.
Handset maker Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google, and is subject to approval from regulators in the United States and Europe, said at CES 2012 yesterday that it would release fewer phones in 2012. The company also announced a multi-year strategic mobile partnership with Intel to make Android smartphones powered by the chipmaker’s struggling Atom platform.
According to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha’s roundtable meeting with reporters at CES yesterday, Motorola no longer sees value in dispersing its efforts by flooding the market with countless devices:
A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place. [...] I made this decision independent of what the others will. We’re doing what we think is the right thing.
Motorola issued a warning last week on fourth-quarter results, and the company said numbers would come in below the $3.9 billion that most analysts expected. As for the Motorola-Intel partnership…
…According to reports, the Motorola-Intel partnership is a multi-year, multi-device strategic relationship that also includes Android smartphones built around Intel’s Atom chip platform. First fruits of this partnership are to be expected later this year. The deal also included tablets that will run Intel chips and, presumably, Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. It remains to be seen whether Intel’s silicon can compete with a variety of ARM-based chips —especially Nvidia’s Tegra platform— on a larger canvas where computing and graphics performance matter more than on tiny smartphone screens. Nevertheless, both companies will collaborate closely on hardware, software and services. Intel’s Atom platform is said to bring speedy performance and longer battery life to the table, but also advanced imaging and video capabilities often associated with Nvidia, the graphics giant. Moreover, it is interesting that Intel “believes” it has more people working on Android than Google does.