Nokia deal will rival Intel/Microsoft PC partnership

24 Jun 2009

Yesterday’s announcement of Intel’s collaboration with Nokia to develop a line of Intel Architecture-based mobile computing devices and chipset architectures “makes sure that it can compete on equal terms with PC and notebook vendors entering the mobile market with Atom-based mobile internet devices and netbooks” said Ovum analyst Adam Leach, adding that the partnership is as important as the Intel/Microsoft collaboration in the early days of the PC.

This collaboration will not only see Nokia developing a new generation of MID (Mobile Internet Devices) that will span the smartphone and netbook, but also means that Intel will acquire a Nokia HSPA/3G modem IP licence for use in future products. This will most likely contribute to the newly revamped Centrino brand that centres around Wi-Fi, WiMAX and WiMAX Wi-Fi products from Intel, beginning in 2010.

The strategic advantages of this collaboration are evident, Leach said: “The current family of Atom chipsets is not suitable for use in handsets, and instead Intel has developed a new market segment for larger form factor MIDs positioned above smartphones and below notebooks.

“To reach further down into the volume part of the mobile market and start reaching the expanding high-end smartphone segment, Intel needs to produce a chipset that can match the power/performance ratio of processors based on the designs of ARM Ltd,” he added.

The new deal, Leach said, shows how credible Intel’s roadmap is and “is akin to Intel buying Microsoft in the early days of the PC market”.

By Marie Boran