Android and the Intel chip family | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Android and the Intel chip family

Android and the Intel chip family
Tim Green

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Devices / Android / November 16th 2011 at 9:25AM

Softtalkmobile looks ahead to the arrival of Android phones and tablets based on Intel's forthcoming x86 processors.

A few news stories have surfaced recently linking Intel’s planned phones and tablets to Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

The stories focus on how the OS includes optimisation for x86 chips, so Intel architecture based devices can support it. They suggest that Intel is waiting for Ice Cream Sandwich to roll out before smartphones and tablets based on the x86 architectures are released.

Ironically, the reporting of this ‘delay’ actually indicates that Intel’s shift in mobile strategy to ultra-mobile hardware like phones and tablets is gathering steam.

In May of this year, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said mobile hardware, built on Intel architecture, is expected to be released onto the market in the first half of 2012.

The statement was greeted by many with a shrug of the shoulders – the market is awash with tablets, smartphones and laptops, so what’s new?  But the first signs of this strategy are evident and the impact is set to be notable.

Super-light, ultra-thin and instant-on Ultrabooks are already appearing and they make your average laptop appear lumpy and clunky, and actually a bit of a relic.

And these devices are predicted to account for up to 40 per cent of the laptop market in 2012, though analysts are a bit more conservative.

Smartphone penetration also continues to accelerate, growing from a small 11 per cent in 2008 to 20 per cent in 2010 and climbing to 27 per cent in the first half of 2011, according to VisionMobile.

Android gobbled up nearly 45 per cent of the smartphone pie in 1H 2011, leaving approximately 20 per cent for Apple’s iOS and 12 per cent for RIM’s BlackBerry OS.

In terms of smartphone hardware, Apple and Samsung toppled Nokia in 1H at the top, with RIM and HTC making up the rest of the first five.

Otellini said that Intel’s mobile strategy is part based on devices that are more power-efficient than any currently on the market and will also feature always-on Internet access and long battery life. He elaborated on this by adding that in about 18 months to two years, devices that combine the best attributes of PCs and tablets will also be available.

By launching Intel-architecture mobile phones on Android 4.0 Intel may well be venturing into crowded waters but it is also launching on a market-dominating OS.

In a separate but related move at Elements 2011, Intel spoke about  the  evolution of the Intel AppUp and its intention to grow and solidify every component of the AppUp ecosystem  including the Intel AppUp developer program, Intel AppUp curation, Intel AppUp services as well as the Intel AppUp Center and affiliate app stores.

Boling all this down it’s clear that as more devices based on Intel architecture flood onto the market and the Intel AppUp developer program grows in strength and reach (it’s already worldwide), Intel platforms are going to become increasingly lucrative.

* This blog post is written by Softtalkmobile, and is sponsored by the Intel AppUp developer program, a single channel for distributing apps to multiple devices, multiple operating systems, and multiple app stores.