Motorola unveils Intel-powered smartphone - Mobile World Live

Motorola unveils Intel-powered smartphone

18 SEP 2012

Motorola Mobility announced its Razr i smartphone, the first device it has launched powered by an Intel processor, following a partnership between the companies announced earlier this year.

Speaking at an event in London today, Erik Reid, general manager of the Mobile & Communications group at Intel, said that the device is “the first smartphone that can achieve speeds of 2GHz, and that’s a really big deal”.

Reid said that the device features Intel’s Hyper-Threading Technology, which “lets you do two things at once” – meaning the single-core chip offers improved battery life while it “outperforms today’s leading dual-core products”. He noted: “We have spent literally years and had hundreds and hundreds of engineers working to optimise Android for the Intel architecture”.

While Intel has lagged its rivals in the smartphone market, it has this year achieved some notable successes, including the launch of devices by ZTE, Orange (with Gigabyte), Lava International and Lenovo.

At the time it was announced, the relationship with Motorola was described as “multi-year, multi-device”. Reid said today: “The results of this partnership are coming to life today. We are just getting started and you can expect really cool things from us to come”.

It has previously been reported that some Android apps written for devices using the more common ARM-based processors are not compatible with Intel-based devices, an issue which was not addressed today. In a statement, Motorola said that the device will give customers access to “more than 600,000 apps and games, millions of books and thousands of movies” available from Google Play.

Other features of the Motorola device include a 4.3-inch “edge-to-edge” display with “virtually no border”, NFC support, and an 8MP camera which can “load in less than a second”. It is powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), with an upgrade to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) promised – although no date has been given.

It is currently available in HSPA+ form, with no plans for an LTE variant announced.

Andrew Morley, general manager for Motorola in the UK & Ireland, said the device will be available in “selected markets” from early October, including the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. “We are going to be working very closely with our carriers and partners in Latin America and in Europe to bring this device to market with a meaningful impact,” he said.

Among the launch partners for the device will be Orange, T-Mobile, Phones 4U, Virgin Media and Tesco Mobile in the UK, and E-Plus, O2, The Phone House and Sparhandy in Germany.

The rollout will be supported by a “huge marketing campaign, planned and developed with Intel”, Morley continued.

Motorola has not revealed potential price points for the device as yet.

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Steve Costello

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