Intel reportedly designing handsets for ZTE

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
Intel has made minimal impact on the mobile processor market yet, but this week it will unveil its biggest shot yet at the emerging tablet space, with the Oak Trail member of the Atom family.
 
Ahead of the launch in Beijing, though, another interesting mobile story has emerged, with reports that the chip giant has designed an Atom-based handset for ZTE.
 
According to Bloomberg, citing two sources with knowledge of the plan, Intel may be aiming to build up a base for Atom by creating reference platforms that help reduce cost and time to market for OEMs.
 
This is an approach that has been used by some ARM-based handset silicon providers, and by Intel in other device markets including PCs for emerging economies. The new reports say that Intel has supplied a reference design to ZTE, which will appear in a phone targeted at the Chinese market.
 
So far, Intel handset partnerships have not yielded commercial results. LG showed a prototype Atom smartphone but then did not bring it to market, while the important alliance with Nokia for MeeGo products was sidelined in February by the Finnish giant's partnership with Microsoft.
 
The transfer to WP7 does not necessarily exclude Atom from Nokia's future designs but Qualcomm is currently the premier processor vendor focused on the Microsoft OS.
 
Intel spokesperson Claudine Mangano would not comment to Bloomberg on the reports but said: “We are working on a number of engagements, but are not ready to talk about them.”
 

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