Intel is the biggest computer chip manufacturer, but they are pretty much nonexistent in the smartphone industry. Most of the smartphones out there are powered by processors made by one of the partners of ARM, and the most notable reason for that is ARM has lot of manufacturing partners, hence the pricing is competitive. Apart from that, ARM processors are extremely power efficient (most of the models) and dissipate very less heat, and that’s an important factor in smartphones because space is scarce.
Intel has been trying to jump into the smartphone space slowly. They had launched Xolo of Lava in India and Yolo of Safaricom in Africa, and recently the company had launched Motorola RAZR i. Motorola RAZR i is the first device made by a notable manufacturer, but the device ended up being a mid range device and not much buzz was created around the device or Intel’s processor. Now, Intel has managed to equip a new smartphone with its mobile CPU and it’s the Acer Liquid C1.
If you’ve been wondering why Intel is manufacturing devices via manufacturers such as Lenovo and Acer, the most obvious reason would be that the company already has strong ties with the above mentioned companies, and such relations should be made use of from time to time. Intel has been into the smartphone business for quite some time now, but things aren’t going exactly according to the plans. The chip manufacturer is obviously facing some technical difficulties when it comes to power efficiency, but according to the recent news, Intel has managed to find the sweet spot which delivers the balance of power efficiency and performance.
Talking about the device, the C1 isn’t exactly a high end device. This is the Taiwanese company’s first handset to be powered by an Intel processor, and powering the device is a single-core 1.2GHz Atom Z2420 Lexington processor. Its features include Android Ice Cream Sandwich, a 4.3 inch IPS display with 960 x 540 pixels, HSPA, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, 5MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory, MicroSD card support, and a 2,000 mAh battery (for up to 9 hours of talk-time). The Acer Liquid C1 will be available in Thailand for $335 starting next month.
“We’ve made a conscious effort to go after these fast-growing markets as our first foray into the business,” declared Mike Bell, Intel’s head of mobile division.
“First and foremost they have to prove they can play in this space at all,” said Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. “There’s no obvious technical fault with Intel’s chips. It’s just that the incumbents are very well established.”
The Acer Liquid C1 will be the second device to be launched this year, after the ultra-cheap Yolo / Xolo X500 which also features the same chipset, but has been developed to be sold in Africa and India. What are your thoughts on this device? Do you think Intel will be able to grab a piece of pie of the smartphone industry? Let us know!