Intel-powered smartphone, Motorola Razr i, gets its debut


Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corp.'s architecture unit, left, speaks with Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive officer, during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. Otellini showed off a smartphone based on a new version of the Atom chip, part of the semiconductor maker's strategy to break into the wireless-phone market. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)
September 18, 2012

Motorola wasn’t quite done with its announcements for the month. The Google-owned smartphone maker announced three new versions of the Razr earlier this month, but took the wraps off a fourth Thursday.

The Motorola Razr i is notable not only because of its edge-to-edge screen and long battery life, but also because of its 2Ghz processor, which is made by a relative newcomer to the smartphone field — Intel.

The phone is pegged for a release in Britain, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico in October; at this time, no U.S. launch plans have been announced.

The announcement is the product of a partnership Intel and Motorola announced in January and is a big step for Intel, as it expands its horizons while the PC market wanes, and the mobile market continues to grow.

Intel is looking to take on rival chipmaker ARM, whose technology powers most of the chipsets in mobile phones on the market. According to a June report from Reuters, the British chip maker said it’s largely unconcerned with Intel’s decision to jump into the fray.

Warren East, chief executive of ARM, told Reuters that he expects Intel may take 10 percent of the market within two to four years but “we do not think it’s going to be much bigger than that.”

Intel could use a boost. The company recently lowered its third-quarter revenue estimate as it became apparent that this year too would be a rough one for PC makers because of the “challenging macroeconomic environment.”

The company had, perhaps, expected that the launch of Windows 8, coming in late October, would boost interest in PCs and PC sales, but found its forecasts showed the PC market is weaker than it expected.

As the Associated Press reported, it’s likely that people — and more important, businesses — will hold off on buying new Windows PCs until they know more about the system and its changes. The rise of tablets, too, may shave off some of the PC gains Intel was hoping for, particularly given the excitement around Microsoft’s own Surface tablet.

Related stories:

Google’s Motorola files new suit against Apple

Intel lowers 3rd-quarter guidance, now sees 7 percent revenue drop as PC market deteriorates

High season: A look at high-tech product announcements for the holiday shopping season

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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