Intel’s first smartphone coming this week

Intel’s first smartphone will be hitting store shelves sooner than expected, featuring the company’s new efforts in making chips for mobile devices.

The news came straight from the horse’s mouth on Tuesday when chief executive Paul Otellini surprised investors on the call by announcing a launch “later this week.” The push to mobile is aimed at giving Intel the chance to transfer its foothold in the PC space to mobile — a market currently dominated by rival AMD.

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At the Consumer Electronics show in January, Intel, Motorola and Lenovo had announced that they would be working on phones together. Intel and Lenovo even showed off a handset called the K800, slated for release in China, where Lenovo has made in-roads in the lower end of the smartphone market. Motorola has also been confirmed as an Intel launch partner, and supposed leaks sent to PocketNow have fueled speculation that the resulting cellphone will look a lot like the Motorola Droid Razr. Intel has also announced partnerships with ZTE and Orange, a carrier in Britain.

No matter what Intel launches this week, customers in the United States, however, will likely have to wait to get a smartphone with Intel inside. All the launches discussed so far have been for international markets.

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