Fri, Dec 10, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Intel chips to run smartphones next year, CEO says

Bloomberg

Intel Corp chips will make their way into smartphones from large manufacturers in the second half of next year, chief executive officer Paul Otellini said.

The chips will be used in “premier” smartphone brands, Otellini said on Wednesday at an investor conference in San Francisco. He declined to name any customers.

Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, is trying to win orders from phone manufacturers to lessen its dependence on the personal-computer market. While the company has agreements with Nokia Oyj and LG Electronics Inc, there are no phones currently on sale that use Intel processors.

Nokia is the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, accounting for 117.5 million of the 417.1 million phones sold worldwide in the third quarter, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Nokia’s share of 28 percent was followed by Samsung Electronics Co’s 17 percent and LG’s 6.6 percent. Apple Inc was fourth with 3.2 percent, Gartner said last month.

Among smartphones, handsets using Nokia’s Symbian software held market share of 37 percent in the quarter, with Android surging to 26 percent from 3.5 percent last year. Apple had 17 percent, Gartner said.

The market for chips that run the radios in mobile phones, called digital signal processors, is dominated by Qualcomm Inc.

Intel is entering that field through its purchase of Infineon Technologies AG’s wireless unit. Intel is also scaling down its PC chips to create a product called Atom to gain a foothold in the growing business of supplying chips that run phone programs.

While Intel’s 10-year effort to capture orders in mobile phones has yet to help its earnings, Otellini said the company has more resources and technological capabilities than any of its rivals.

“We can bet big,” he said. “We can do it for the long term.”

In October, Intel gave investors its upbeat fourth-quarter sales forecast as resilient demand from emerging markets and corporations offset weak consumer spending.

The chipmaker forecast revenue of US$11 billion to US$11.8 billion in the final three months of this year, which was in line with analysts’ expectations of US$11.32 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

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